Two weeks ago I wrote a few meager, grainy thoughts about resistance exercises. What I neglected to mention is the importance of tissue preparation, muscle activation, and dynamic preparation — an elaborate and more technical manner of describing proper warm up before hand, steps I must have botched last week before one of my workouts.
The low, dull, seemingly innocuous pulsing started somewhere in the lower back left side. By the next day it had turned to discomfort and moved down to my hip, then transformed to a more serious pain in the gluteus area, to the top of my thigh, and eventually my entire left leg from hip joint to ankle.
Two days after it started, a 2.5 hour flight was enough to bring me close to tears as the pain objected vehemently to its forced sitting position. Since then it has only marinally improved. Fortunately, or unfortunately, the ache subsides somewhat during the day to permit moderate mobility, except at a tad slower pace. But at night the pain leaps out of its daytime hiding place with a vengance and has an intensely good time not letting me sleep well.
To add insult to the injured left side, a couple of days into my trip, which required quite a bit walking for the scouting mission I had planned, it started drizzling as I was cruising on a crowded sidewalk.
As I’ve learned the hard way on two wheels, the first coating of moisture on metal ground plates makes for an icy-like surface. Because I didn’t have an umbrella, I picked up the pace and before I could react my right foot slipped out in front of me on a metal sidewalk plate, causing my left knee to slam to the ground where I landed in a half kneeling position. The good news was that the new throbbing sensation from the sudden jolting impact was great enough to render the other pain a non-issue, at least temporarily. The slip managed to win a layer of knee skin and left me with a fashionable rip in my otherwise un-torn jeans. The passing pedistrians gave no nevermind to the half-kneeling wierdo as it took a few seconds to gather the required ummpf to rise and continue on.
Not a shiatsu pressure point nor an otherwise therapeutic massage has improved the constant stinging of the original offense. I’m kind of down for the count, or at least off resistance temporarily, wallowing in a holding pattern somewhere between wanting to punch something or cry. I suppose staying in the middle of those extremes is worthy of contentment.
Nephew Trip S warned me about the warmup importance. I thought I did, but evidently not well enough. So for anyone hankering to know what a good activation warmup looks like, Dr. Peter Attia, a knowledgeable nutrition professional and once marathon swimmer, along with Jesse Schwartzman, demonstrate a routine here in a 4-part video. Many are the same activation movements Trip S teaches.
Preparation and activation are the key words. If you resist, do yourself a favor and make it resistance plus, not minus.