photo: my classmates and I post workout

Physician, heal thyself

It seems everything I have done for the past 50 years has been to the detriment of my hip flexors and the illiotibial band (ITB.) Long time friends will know that I have a degree in Exercise Physiology so I get it. I understand exactly what I have been doing to my body. Knowing what is going on and doing something about it however, are very different things.

Forty years (and over 30,000 miles) of cycling has built very strong quadriceps and calves but served to shorten and tighten my hip flexors. They just are not used in cycling. These muscle imbalances can be alleviated with strength training – I just haven’t done that in years.

Add to that a series of career moves with one thing in common – sitting, and you have another major contributor to tightness in the hip flexors and ITB. Not only do you not flex your hips in sitting, but you actually shorten them through lack of use.

Flash forward to today and I am doing something about it – CrossFit. Yes, I know the first rule of CrossFit is that you must repeatedly talk about CrossFit and I know that could annoy folks, but hey… this stuff works!

As you know from my recent posts, I joined CrossFit Hays recently and the little used segments of my anatomy have been screaming at me each time. It is painful when you start moving relatively sedentary body parts with intensity and purpose.

These pics are from just my second full session (after a week of learning how to do things correctly) and while my muscles and lungs were screaming throughout the exercise, the real pain was from the hip flexor stretches afterward. You know what though? Immediately after we were finished, yes, I was spent…. but I felt so much better than even before we started.

I am also seeing changes every days in how I am standing up straighter and just generally feeling better. I know, this is hard to imagine because I never really feel bad… but it is true. I feel better each day.

So far, I have dropped only about 5 pounds but that is not really the end-all goal. It is overall fitness that I am after. The shrinking belly and lower weight will come as a result of eating better and moving with a purpose.

by Chris Doelle

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