Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Compensating for Imaginary Inflexibility

I've been convinced for years that my legs are relatively inflexible (ever since I abandoned my doomed attempt to be a gymnast, during which time I was sure I was inflexible everywhere). I can bend over and put my palms flat on the floor with my knees straight, but I was sure that was because my back flexibility was compensating for my tight leg muscles. I've had multiple yoga teachers and 2 physical therapists (one with a terrible bed-side manner who made me feel guilty about it for months) confirm my theory. I have a post-it note right here that says "Cookie recipe! Hamstring stretches!" (The PT was especially worried about my quads, but he wasn't very impressed with my hamstrings either.)

But apparently, I was wrong. Or, at least, I'm wrong now--at practice this morning (and Monday, and last week, and sometimes in the tanks over the winter...) I was digging my oar too deep under the water--caused, apparently, by a whole series of related problems starting with reaching too far forward with my upper body. I tried not to reach so far, but I kept wondering to myself how else was I supposed to get a long stroke, what with my crazily inflexible legs and all. So I talked to him about it afterwards, with the idea of asking for stretches to fix my inflexibility problem. I tried to demonstrate how, when I try to squat down all the way without lifting my heels off the floor, I tip over backwards... and for the first time ever, got all the way to the floor without lifting up my heels or tipping over.

Huh. Nevermind. Now I just need to remember not to make up for a problem which doesn't exist.


Sonia said...

It's funny how we get these ideas about ourselves that may or may not be true today. Glad your inflexibility is imaginary--I'm not convinced mine is!

Amelia said...

haha! you are so fortunate! So many rowers can't do that without tipping forward/lifting their heels. This also means you have the potential to compress up to the catch REALLY well. :)