html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: I barely know him.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I barely know him.

I wiped out on a turn on wet tiles at the BART station, a huge big fall. The bike went skidding. I went skidding. The sweetfaced skateguy said “Whoah! Are you alright?” I was, surprisingly. No broken arms this time, which is all it takes to make this a good bike fall. It would all have been fine, except that I took the entire fall and skid on my right asscheek, which was already sore from Friday.

Friday I went to see the sports therapist guy about my knee. My knee’s been bugging me. It doesn’t hurt, but I feel it all the time and I think joints should be bent and not felt. I told the knee doctor guy “I’m pretty sure it started the fall I ran stadiums, but now I feel it more the day after squat workouts.” He said “That’s your hip. Lie down on the table.” I lay down on the table, fully dressed. Without asking, he took off my belt, reached down my jeans and pressed on my hip flexor so hard that I doubled up. He flipped me over and jammed his elbow into my right asscheek hard enough to make me cry out in pain. “JESUS!” I shouted, and he said “Nope. My name is Lino.” “MOTHERFUCKER!” I shouted the next time he elbowed me.

He explained how having tight hip flexors had tightened my ass muscles, which meant my knee was torquing during squats. I don’t entirely get that, because I don’t see how muscles carved from solid marble can be any more tightened, but he’s the sports therapist guy. He had me stand and squat, and it is true that my knees felt good. He told me to unbutton my pants and lie back down on the table; on his way to see another client, he stopped to shove an ice pack down my pants, pat me on the shoulder and leave again. It really was a very personal visit.

His prescription for me was lots of pigeon, which I should have known. I love stretching. I love the feel of a stretch, the pull and slight pain of it. I love just about every stretch, will happily spend long minutes deepening any contortion, except pigeon. Pigeon just sucks and makes my hips hurt. I should have connected a pending injury to the only stretch I don't like. Of course tight hips are the weakness that showed up first.

After manhandling me like I cannot remember anyone ever doing before, he showed me some other stretches, which reminded me how much I love love love assisted stretching. I completely hated this article about partner yoga, mostly because people’s bodies are not either gross. The author assumed we shared her snide distaste for bodies, and I don’t. Worse, I’m scared the article might discourage assisted stretching, which I love so much and never get enough of. One of my secret hopes is that the guy I date will already know or be willing to learn how to help me stretch. I don’t expect that, ‘cause it takes a fair amount of skill and work, but I would be beyond thrilled if I had someone who would help me stretch occasionally.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking lots and lots about mind-body stuff recently and have started believing that people’s ailments are linked to their minds and emotions. I really want a good map of what body part or symptom corresponds to what thoughts and emotions, but don’t know where to find one I trust. Without a good map, I’ll start putting one together by myself and it will be the usual Megan esoterica. “Sore shoulders? You’re claustrophobic, aren’t you?” “Shallow arches? I knew you were a sheepfucker.” I won’t say that out loud, because I have manners, and then it will never be disproved, which is exactly the same as being right. So I’ve been pondering what tight hips mean. Probably signifies unusual perceptiveness. Something like that.

17 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

I don't think the mind/body ailment connection works with a map. That is, unless a person believed in the map so much that their pains and issues were similar to what was presented in the map. I think mind/body is too personal to be reflected so simply in a generalized map. They're out there, it's just like dream books, to me. No one knows your head like you do. I ask myself questions like, "Why does my abdomen feel as though there were seven thousand searing knives cutting and cauterizing my digestive tract?" Often, the answer is that I'm trying really hard to bury some heavy emotion and it turns out that they'll eat you alive from the inside out if you don't deal with them.

10:40 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Baaaa.

12:13 AM  
Blogger Noel said...

Tight hips = you're not get laid enough.

Sorry, that was just sitting there...

1:51 AM  
Anonymous Mitch said...

I won’t say that out loud, because I have manners, and then it will never be disproved, which is exactly the same as being right.

All these years, I've been waiting for someone to articulate my most deeply held personal philosophies...

Seriously, I think Rick is right about mind/body maps being individual things. You don't need a map, you need a cartographer. And you could be their cartographer! "Ah, yes, the island of repressed desires extends all the way from here down to..."

2:29 AM  
Blogger bobvis said...

I am pretty sure that I've had procrastinator's elbow for a good three years.

Chinese people have told me that going bald young means you are supposed to be smart.

5:30 AM  
Blogger Capella said...

Noel beat me to it.

But seriously, it makes sense. And now you have to take it seriously, because getting laid has become part of your training.

6:10 AM  
Anonymous mith said...

I agree with Noel and Capella.

Also, you now know why you're not improving your deadlift. If you want to do better next time you go for a 1 RM, you'll need looser hips.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline said...

You need to hurry up and get a boyfriend so he can give you ass massages.

1:29 PM  
Blogger matt said...

As a tight-hipped individual myself, I completely and totally agree.

If only getting laid really did fix it...

I swear, if there's a heaven, there will be lots and lots and lots of partner stretching. I'm convinced there's nothing as nice as a really good hamstring stretch.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Hips are important. If your hips are tight, motion that should be happening there just happens elsewhere. Just be glad that your back is so strong. I've accidentally sent all that homeless motion up the back instead of down the leg, and my back is still recovering. If I miss yoga for 3 weeks, my back starts to hurt again without fail.

But I like pigeon.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

because getting laid has become part of your training

Years ago many people actually thought that an athlete's performance would suffer if he engaged in romantic activities too close to game time. Jim Bouton's classic baseball memoir Ball Four has a wonderful anecdote to that effect. A young rookie pitcher was in the midst of "entertaining" a groupie in his hotel room during a road trip when his roommate, a crusty old veteran player, arrived unexpectedly. "Don't come, kid," the veteran advised, "you're pitching tonight."

The rookie obeyed.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous doctorpat said...

Tight hips -> knees sore after squats

That sounds VERY familiar....

You may have just saved me

7:48 PM  
Anonymous dilletante said...

alexander technique's supposed to be all about that mapping, right? i don't know much about it, but have a friend who trained in it for a while. she said it was fascinating to see how people reacted to minor adjustments in their posture. "i can't stand like *that*!" they'd say, "then i wouldn't be *me* anymore!"

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave had a similar experience with his hip flexor. You should ask him about it.
-Mel

1:57 PM  
Blogger alison said...

I'd always thought tight hips meant the person was a great bullshitter ;-)

We could all send you photos of ourselves for you and you could diagnose all our problems?

6:53 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

Was the sports therapist single? He obviously liked you.

6:40 AM  
Blogger bobvis said...

He explained how having tight hip flexors had tightened my ass muscles, which meant my knee was torquing during squats. I don’t entirely get that, because I don’t see how muscles carved from solid marble can be any more tightened, but he’s the sports therapist guy.

Every once in a while when I am walking around doing something irrelevant this line pops into my head, and I get this stupid grin. This was brilliant. Thanks!

2:15 PM  

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