Here’s a thing I learned yesterday. I do not know how to relax.
I got a massage yesterday. I’ve been saying I’m going to get one for bloody months (like since July) and for whatever reason have just not booked one.
But I finally did it because I’m not at work and so can be a bit more flexible with my time.
The amount of times my massage therapist told me to relax was alarming. Only because I 100% felt like I was relaxed. Turns out my version of relaxed is still pretty fucking rigid.
Also I went into it primarily because when I touch my hamstrings I can feel how damn tight they are. It’s gross. I make other people feel them to share the grossness. So I needed them to be loosened up slightly. Turns out they are the least of my problems. It’s just the whole upper leg and booty. Quads, IT band, glutes, hamstrings. The whole shebang.
And here’s the kicker. Because they’re so tight they run the risk of putting extra strain on my lower back, when getting stronger upper legs (glutes particularly) has been my main focus to try and help lessen lower back pain…
Something there doesn’t add up.
To be honest I don’t really know what I expected. The frequency with which I exercise would put a lot of tension on my legs because almost all my workouts have a fairly heavy focus on legs (I literally do a class called Ass and Abs). And look I love me a good stretch and I take stretching very seriously post workout but deep down I know I could do better.
I own not one, but two, foam rollers and they spend about 90% of their time just tucked in a corner. I only really use them when my legs are feeling particularly heavy and even then it’s pretty half assed because it hurts, it’s usually kinda late in the day and I cannot be bothered.
However, that’s really not gonna fly anymore because it has just kind of dawned on me that I’m running at a higher risk of getting injured.
If I’m really honest with myself I can feel myself slowly my squat (this is how I am measuring this shit it would seem), my weight doesn’t quite want to stay in my heels and I’m leaning forward a bit more. They’re becoming way more quad dominant and worryingly unstable (not what you want when you’re squatting heavy). That’s mostly because of the tight glutes…
This whole experience has basically been the massive kick up the ass (almost literally) that I needed.
Exercise is (one of) my way of self care and I really need to treat all the post workout stuff like that as well because otherwise I’m fucked.
Step one is taking a whole 6 days off from exercise (or anything more strenuous than walking). This rest week marks my second of the year and my first one since MARCH. I didn’t truly register that until yesterday. It’s kind of not all that good when you think about because we’re like 40 weeks into the year now…
I also need to get better at foam rolling on a regular basis. I have the time and I need to get better at dedicating it to that.
Let’s be honest, I’m also gonna have to get another massage in the near future. There is some tension that only a professional can eek out of my muscles because there’s only so much pain that I can inflict on myself (she literally told me yesterday that addressing the problem would be painful, not brutal, but painful).
Finally I have got to learn how to relax a bit better. I don’t really fully know how to go about that, but I gotta start somewhere. I’m spending too much time to physically unclench my jaw and drop my shoulder down my back currently. So, I need to work on that.
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