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An Old Stretcher

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Yeah, that’s me there, on my 47th birthday. An old stretcher indeed. I’ve stayed fairly active my adult life. I got into yoga back in ’95, to help my insomnia. It did not, but I took to it right away. I’ve always been abnormally flexible, so most of the poses were easily attainable.

Over the years, I’ve incorporated yoga into my cardio and resistance training.  But I have gone through several periods of inactivity. You know, life gets in the way, or, (when you are in the 30% who have 70% of the accidents, like me), a ski injury or car accident puts it all on hold for a while.

My latest injury was up at Tahoe. Got going too fast, tried to bail responsibly, a binding failed to release and BAM, sprained knee. It took forever to heal up, because I was constantly re-twisting it at work. (I’m not a complete idiot)

Before that, I got a terrible, exquisite pain in my ass. Yes, what is called more delicately called my left sit bone had issues. I found a wonderful, thorough chiropractor who started my treatment with X-rays. That was a first for me, and I knew this doc was serious. After modifying my own stretch routine with exercises she gave me, and receiving much treatment, my ass is in fine shape now.

I don’t want to minimize the chiropractic treatment. What do I know, anyhow? However, I feel the main problem with that pain in my ass was my own stretching routine. As soon as I traded one stretch for a prescribed one, that’s when we started cooking with gas. Very probably I was daily over-stretching that old ass.

Recently, I woke up in the night with my right arm completely numb. Why, if it was numb, did it hurt so blasted much? That, dear readers, is a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. I toddled off to the chiropractor and was given nerve decompression stretches. Ultimately, I ended up sleeping in a brace, and when I was put on furlough at work, things got much better, wrist wise.

Being on furlough has also given me the opportunity to get back into yoga and cardio. I’d been slacking because working away from home for 13 hours left me with little determination for fitness. But, for three weeks I have at least been doing my yoga and chiropractic stretches. Having oodles of time suits me quite well. I’m almost bummed I get to return to work Monday. Almost. Working suits me quite well, also.

I’ve noticed, though, my propensity for over stretching.  How much good were those decompression stretches doing if I was doing them to the point of discomfort? And I’ve wondered why yoga does not please me as well as my younger days. I’ve thought about revisiting a yoga forum to pose the question: Does anyone else notice stretching doesn’t feel as nice the older you get?

I never did ask that question. Life, you know. But I feel certain the answer would have been, No. Are you crazy? Part of my unique idiocy, I suspect, is expecting that my body will be able to do the same things it could as I remember it being able to do. This is double tricky because memory is really the least reliable thing to use as an objective assessment.

Also problematic are those infrequent lapses. I do congratulate myself for being able to get back into an exercise routine afterward, and lets face it, that does make me exceptional. If you have stuck to an exercise program for 25 years, good on you. You are exceptional as well. Undoubtedly, you have me beat by a mile, because you have probably never had lapses. But if you have, you were probably wise enough to start again slowly, working carefully up to your previous abilities.

Me, I’m an easy going person. I have really sold myself that idea. I’ve realized though, since being furloughed, I’m tough on myself. I’m a hard case. I push myself beyond that good stretch right into that ow, that don’t feel so great. And I suspect that when I continually over stretch them muscles, I just automatically go back into that ow, and that’s the reason I start  thinking yoga doesn’t feel so great anymore.

Of course yoga still feels pretty good, but I’ve got  to pay close attention. I won’t go past that good feeling, and if I do, I will back off. I will forget what I used to be able to do and just mind the present moment, my present ability. I will be patient.

At least, I hope I will. Come Monday, my time will be limited. If I sacrifice some to do yoga, I hope I will be able to resist my impulse to just race through my practice. I hope to carve out some time for blogging, too. If I manage that, I’ll let you know how I’m doing with this.

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