Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Frozen Peas

Some people cook frozen peas. As the boyfriend of a dancer when I was in college, they had a different purpose. The phrase, "Get the frozen peas, would you hon?" meant my girlfriend was hurting and wanted to ice a muscle or joint. See, frozen peas conform to irregular shapes like ice cubes won't. The come in a convenient bag and don't get wet as they warm up. They're cheap, and in dire straits you could eat them.

Where am I going with this? Toward the end of class this evening my right leg started to ache. Anything with my weight of my left leg was fine, anything on the right was uncomfortable. Walking to my car my right leg definitely felt stiff, and it got worse on the drive home. I don't think I did anything specific to it, but with the new challenges in this class I've been working harder.

For several weeks I've had occasional issues with tightness in that leg, usually occurring the second night after class. It feels like a tight band that starts above my right buttock, spirals down over my right hip joint into the outer side of the right quadriceps, past the outer side of my kneecap and into the outer side of my lower leg, and ends just above my right ankle. On bad nights it'll wake me up.

It's not the hip joint itself that hurts; these are the muscles used to rotate your leg outward, raise your leg, and a bunch of other dancer-like movements. My massage therapist started working on this late last week and gave me some suggestions. So here I am, stretching these muscles as best I can: laying on my back with my hips propped up on blankets, the side of my foot against a convenient box to hold my toes turned in, with the high-tech equivalent of a bag of frozen peas strapped to my leg. A bottle of water in my hand and ibuprofen in my belly.

So, yeah, I feel like a real dancer now. Yay.

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