My Tools and My Toys
I have several items in my toolbox that I use on an almost daily basis. For starters, I have several different balls - a nerf ball, a mini foam baseball and a squishy fabric ball I confiscated from my son's toy boxes. Then I have a four-pronged, wooden "happy massager," which, when used properly, puts a smile on my face, a gel ice-pack which I wrap and secure to my ankle with a rubber band, and last but not least, the mother of all tools - a seriously badass wooden rolling pin. Yeah. This is not your sissy roller by any means (see "The Stick" on Maple Grove Barefoot Guy's Blog) No offense, Christian. (insert me smiling innocently here), but my tool will make grown men cry or at least make me cry. Really.
So some tricks I've learned when using this stuff... seek out the parts of the muscle that hurts and focus the tool on that trigger point for a good two minutes. Apparently that's how long it takes for the tissues to "conform." Trust me. If you aren't sweating bullets, crying for your mama, or screaming obscenities then you're doing it wrong. Take some deep breaths, focus and relax into the pain and eventually you will be crawling out of your hole. Slowly. After two minutes. Sometimes I find a mantra helps. Like the one that got me through childbirth. That was 8cm of drug free dialation, a fucked up epidural, a baby who was "sunny side up" (we're talking insane back labor), transition and a final bloody scene usually reserved for the most disturbing of horror films. So... amazingly enough the words that got me through that... "I believe in the power of my mind and the wisdom of my body." You confront the pain with precision and stealth. Like a ninja. Focus on it with your mind and trust that your body will know what to do to heal itself. I know. Easier said than done. You've got to dig deep to get out.
So my achilles was super tender about a week and a half ago but I think things are getting better now. As for my knee, it hasn't piped up at all over the last month. Granted I haven't been running like I was, but I feel like things are getting sorted out. In addition to the occassional rolling I think stretching has helped immensely. I've been on a strict regimen of stretching lately. Five times a day, in fact. Most of the time I manage to squeeze in about three times, but sometimes a couple of those stretching stints are more than 5 minutes long. I've gotten really good at stretching and facebooking so losing track of time while participating in these activities is actually benefiting me. My upper body is feeling stronger too. I've never done this many push ups in my life. And my abs. Well, they're just sore. I did an ab circuit the other day that felt like a complete fail. I have no coordination, and apparently, no muscle strength either. But, I'm slowly getting stronger and more flexible so its all good.
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