When did my body become a flesh filled garbage bag?
I dunno, I’ve just felt junky lately. My muscles are deteriorating from lack of use, and I’ve become lethargy incarnate. It’s probably just a combination of seasonal changes in weather, the fact that I had a consistent cold for a week or so, snow getting in the way of my ability to bike, and feeling too lazy to gym half as often. I’m 32 going on 40 right now. I’d finally cleared out most of the knots in my back, then I returned to the gym. I realised that my lack of workouts was probably weakening my back muscles, and my desk set up at work was doing numbers on my posture. I’m doing constant personal posture reminders: Walk like you’re wearing a cape. Shoulders back and down, tilt pelvis forward, tighten core. It’s work, especially since it’s so tempting to let my shoulders slump forward. Slumping is the utmost in comfort, and it’s too tempting to just do it all the time. But if the choice is between temporary comfort and an eventual sore back, it’s a boring and adult choice to make.
Having not been to the gym in quite some time, yesterday’s experience was sorta neat. My mp3 player had nearly run out of batteries, and as I stretched on a bar, I noticed a charger plugged into the wall. It was the right USB for my player. I asked some dude if it was his. It wasn’t being used, and I had a mighty need. He said to go ahead, he was finishing up. He said he’d go shower and pick it up after he’d finished. The extra juice gave me enough charge for my workout and the rest of the day. It was a really nice gesture from some stranger, and put me in a great mood.
Then some personal trainer came over to chat. He asked where my friend was, and I told him he’d gotten me mixed up with someone else, but that was fine. I mentioned that I loved this weird little club with its labyrinthine hallways and weird layout. He told me about the history of the club, how it used to be a platinum club with all kinds of member benefits. Then they relented and took away its platinum status, but kept the benefits. Which explains why there are always ample cotton swabs lying around. It was very clear that he was just chatting, not trying to sell me on anything. It was nice to have someone to chat with while I stretched and waited for my player to charge.
He said he hadn’t seen me around in a while, and I told him about my muscle troubles lately. The borderline tennis elbow on my left, and the brachioradialis stuff on the right. I asked him for advice. Was I was messing things up by working out? Should I relent on the trigger point work I’d been doing with my home equipment? He said that it was fine and good to keep doing the stuff I was doing. Work out until it starts hurting, then back off and move to something else. He said the big thing that would help would be introducing ice into my routine. The problem, he said, is that these muscles get worked and inflamed, but ice is a fantastic anti-inflammatory. He suggested doing the trigger point work, then putting an ice pack on the area for the next 20 minutes. He said it’d take a long time to clear out, because they were muscles that were in use all day, but ice would really help.
But then I did the worst exercise- front squats- and everything hurts. Front squats fucking suck. First you’ve got the fact that you have to hold your arms in rack position. I’ve always found this flexibility frustratingly difficult. Years ago when I got into crossfit (before the endless injuries, etc), I really worked on it. I could get all my fingers wrapped around the bar. These days I can only really get two fingers on each side, with the others splayed out uselessly. Secondly, that bar crunches right down onto the collar bones. I don’t even put much weight on, and it still grinds right in there. I know that it’s a good exercise, but it activates all these back muscles that otherwise get a free ride. That’s precisely why I did it, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hurt a bunch in the short term. Double plus unfun. It’s all work to get good posture back, but we all know slouching would be way more pleasant in the short term.
It’s gonna be a long winter. Best get started.