Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Are you flexible?

Ever convince yourself you are stretching the correct amount only to find you are kidding yourself? Flexibility refers to the absolute range of movement in a joint or series of joints that is attainable in a momentary effort with the help of a partner or a piece of equipment. Flexibility in some joints can be increased to a certain degree by stretching. (Thank you Wikipedia) Reality regarding my stretching routine was beaten into me on Saturday.

I normally work with a massage therapist who works with a local pro sports team. He is excellent - and he better be - because it is a 90 minute drive each way. His associates are great too. Well, the playoffs started on Saturday and he wasn't available so his associate Steve would work on me. Steve is also excellent at massage therapy and he is exceptionally strong ("retired" powerlifter" at 6'4" and 288 he has hands like baseball mits and has lifted me (~175#) with one arm - completely off the massage table.) I have been stretching significantly more this season so I figure a massage by Steve is ok. "I'm good" I told myself.

Steve started to work on my quad and I swear I could feel my entire quad shift on the bone. It hurt so badly I couldn't breathe. Steve is so strong that he doesn't put much pressure on but it feels like your skeleton may rip thru your skin at times. So much for stretching more. I did notice that I wasn't as sore and I was more flexible than in the past. Steve even said, "Hey Bob, you are way better than last year dude. Keep up the great work." It didn't feel like I had done great work. It felt like I got my butt kicked. As I left I could feel the blood flow in my legs. I had made a breakthru both in pain threshold and stretching.

It made me rethink all of the changes I've made since 2006. AM I REALLY stretching more? So...think you're ready for the season?

Yes, I'm as ready as I can be and I know that this year I will be flexible.

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