03/27/20 - Stretching

It turns out the worst thing about designing a game retheme is you have to wait until you’ve finished all the work to actually play it. I’m all-in on my retheme now, as I knew I would be, and really enjoying myself.

This post is not about that however it is about the magic of stretching. My whole life I’ve had many issues with shoulder, neck, and back pain. I’ve had multiple massage therapists tell me I have the tightest muscles they’d ever worked on. (One used to always sigh and say, “Bless your heart,” every time she saw me.) Best I can figure, I carry a lot of stress in my body and working at a computer exacerbates the problem. I’m healthy and exercise daily but lately my discomfort has increased. I have more acute pain in my left shoulder and knee and all my muscles are very sore to the touch. I knew I needed to stretch, but kept putting it off. Well, I finally did full body stretching and it felt amazing.

Years ago when I figured out the massage therapist was essentially “exercising” my muscles for me, and I realized I could probably emulate what she was doing on my own by stretching. I researched yoga poses based on anatomy to figure out what types I needed to try most. I have researched various types of stretches, the sports resistance exercises and yoga tend to have a lot of overlap but sometimes the yoga stretches end up being more active/full body. Generally sports stretching recommends a 30 second hold and yoga recommends “5 long breaths” which is roughly the same.

Anyway, I stretched, felt amazing. The next day I ran several miles, but did not stretch. Today… sore, but in different muscles. Normally, if I press my thumb into my glutes or lower back they are automatically tender. Today, not so, but the muscles along my ribs and upper back are sore. I’ll just focus on stretching every morning and zero in on whatever is bothering me.

Today the useful new stretch I learned was threading the needle.