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Learning to stop

August 26, 2014

Fat HealthExerciseMy Boring-Ass Life

Hurting my back ended up being a real blessing in disguise. Prior to starting rehab, my legs would cramp multiple times a night. Now I can’t remember the last time I’ve woken up and cramped. The majority of my exercises lent themselves well to off-ice training, which made me more motivated to keep up with them. I learned that my sacroiliac joints suck, but a brace does wonders for it. I’m learning a lot about how my body and muscles work, which is something that never sunk in when I was supposed to memorize all the muscles on a rat for zoology class.

Ice Skating Fail

Ignoring your body and pushing yourself too far can result in disaster.

I started spinning on one foot about a month ago and it was hell. After one spin my brain felt like I’d put it into a blender. After 20 minutes my shoulders were sore. I spent the first night wondering if I was going to have a heart attack because my chest was tight and it hurt to breathe. The culprit ended up being strained intercostals. Now I can spin and keep my head together without having any more cardiac scares. Seeing myself progress has been enabling a mentality to play through pain and deal with the consequences later. Time for my body to blow the whistle.

I’ve been developing arthritis. It’s not a surprise because it runs in my family, but there’s still the inner voice that screams, “I’m too young for this crap!” I got a hint when I wasn’t moving my neck as much as my instructors would like. Fortunately, it’s all gentle movement and I can do that. Unlike dancers, we keep our heads steady during spins. The latest source of conflict has been my knees. You can never bend your knees enough and we seem to have very different definitions of straight legs. I can see an angle on my legs, I’m just above the point that causes pain, and then I get yelled at to bend my knees again. Last class it was pointed out that I have a tendency to raise up before completing a crossover. While being spotted, I discovered it’s because staying down hurts. I stay down, nerves fire pain signals, my proprioception gets distracted, and I flail. To avoid the flail, I subconsciously raise up. This has been mutually agreed to be my fault. How I’m supposed to address that is still up in the air. They say just do it, I say if I could just do it then it would’ve been done!

I was left in a quandry because my knees are exceptionally stiff today. In favor of going to class: it’s movement, it’ll keep me consistent, I was looking forward to class. Against: I’ll hurt later, I’m not in the mood to be yelled at about my knees. I decided to compromise by skipping the practice before, going home to stretch, and then make an assessment in time to get to class.

After catching sight of my legs in the mirror, in all their swollen glory, I decided to skip. I did some more stretching, gave my legs a massage, and I’ve got a date with my tub after I’ve finished typing this. After that, I might just call it a night, even if it’s only 7:30 p.m. because pain is exhausting. Sometimes you’ve got to catch that whisper of, “I’d rather not do this,” over the roar of, “You’re going to do this now!”

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