It is a beautiful, summer morning and despite that glorious sunshine, I was a little slow to climb out of bed because my body was achy and sore. Yesterday was my first triathlon since having twins and while I felt on top of the world after finishing, I was reminded this morning how hard my poor muscles worked to get me to the finish in one piece.
How amazing it all is -- this mass of bones and muscles, tendons and ligaments, joints, nerves and connective tissue. It carries us around through our daily tasks and even endures when we don't treat it as kindly as it deserves. What a wonderful and amazing machine.
Here is the trade off though -- our bodies will always search for the easy way. Despite the beautiful complexity that is the body, it will always look for the short-cut; the path of least resistance. We can't blame it -- wouldn't you do the same? However, this is where problems start to emerge.
As a physio, I see people in pain. Aside from acute, traumatic injuries, most of what I see are injuries due to a breakdown in the system; the "short-cuts" that start to manifest into imbalances and imbalances that start to cause tissue destruction. Therefore, rehabilitating an injury, or better yet, preventing injury is all about ensuring that we create an environment within our bodies that allows it to work efficiently, but also biomechanically.
What does all of this physic-speak actually mean? Well, let me give you an analogy. Lets say that you are driving a car but the front left tire is low. Well, if you keep your foot on the gas you car is going to keep driving for you, but it is not working how it is designed to work. The car wants to pull to that side, so the car has to compensate. The other tires start to become warn in an unsymmetrical fashion. If the tire gets too low, the rims may start to get damaged by the increased pressure on the road. The cascade continues....
The body is much the same way. If we have weakness in key muscles, the body is wise enough to keep on trucking for us, but it starts calling on other muscles to do the job and it won't be long until the effects are noted. Therefore, it is important to gain an understanding and appreciation of this precious vessel that is your body. What are you doing to keep it in balance and running smoothly? Are you confident that the physical demands you make of it are in line with the capacity it has to do the job effectively and efficiently? Do you notice that you have common "problem areas" or perhaps even a "problem side" that consistently seems to pop-up when you turn up the heat in your training or activities? If so, you need to make friends with a good rehab provider that can get you back on track.
I promise this is not just a shameless plug for physiotherapy or other like-minded professionals. Rather, this is a PSA that you have this incredible body - one that is so mind-blowingly intricate and amazing that you owe it all the respect and love it deserves. We have no problems investing money to dress it up and make it look fancy, yet we are hesitant to invest the time + money to make it function optimally.
So back to my post-race sore bod that I am dragging around today. It has taught me an important lesson; it is resilient, it is strong, it does its best for me when I treat it the best. It carried me through the finish line, so today it deserves a nice stretch and some solid rest. Tomorrow we begin again. I will spend the time to strengthen the areas that fatigued first. I will pamper the parts that took an extra beating. We will continue to evolve together and I will continue to listen to what it is telling me.
Ode to the Bod.
Above: Myself and my fellow podium-mates at the Gravenhurst Triathlon. Most incredibly, another twin mama took 1st!!
Give you bod some love today and everyday and get it working like the well-oiled machine it was made to be!