Friday, May 21, 2010

Want to come back to My gym bouncy bouncy?

No, My hovercraft is not full of eels. (opens second browser window; types in 'hovercrafts4less.com'; gets '404 Cheap Hovercraft Not Found'; sighs heavily)

Last Tuesday, while I was on holidays, I acquired a rather sore back for no particularly good reason. In other words, I was *not* moving hundreds of pounds of gravel, purchasing mass quantities of cat litter, or digging up the back yard.

In fact, I first noticed the aching immediately after getting up from a chair in a donut shop, which followed a five-hour Sudoku session at the dining room table while the new furnace in Astrejurhof was being installed, which followed two straight days of sleeping in till noon.

This unfortunate physical condition (or lack of conditioning, as it may be) persisted right through My week off -- Somewhat hindering My ability to mix concrete, do landscaping and move the aforementioned gravel and cat litter.

But when I found Myself back at work on Monday and the sore back was still there, I got serious. I tried analgesics and muscle relaxants; a heating pad; and finally I just broke down and looked up 'back pain' on the Internet.

A couple of pages later, I found it: Something called PNF stretching. PNF is short for 'proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation,' and it involves varying combinations of static and dynamic stretching.

In My case -- And how befitting a Springy Goddess! -- it was the hold-relax-bounce variety that did the trick. It wasn't enough to just bend over and do some holding and relaxing; I had to add in a very, very careful* slow-motion bounce to take Me deeper into the stretch.

At this point, the real culprits were flushed out: My tight calf muscles and hamstrings were the actual cause of the backache.

So I did some more cautiously bouncing stretches. My back got even better.

Now, on Friday night at the end of a full work week, I'm pretty much back to normal. The leg tension is down about 80%, and when I bend forward with My legs straight I can get the top of My head within 7" of the floor.

Cancel that order for the hovercraft... I think I'll invest in a rebounder.

Or that thing that Van Halen used in the video for "Panama"...

* Oh, and did I mention 'careful'?

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