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I’ve mentioned in the past that I have the joy of IT band issues. I’ve actually kept up with my running since I re-started (yet another plus in the non-Florida weather column) and things have been good until last week, when my left knee started whining about life again. I’d been stretching properly and foam-rolling, so I’ll reiterate my sentiment from the last running post: what the fuck, knee? Sure enough, same crappy knee pain as when I was first told to deal with my IT band.

I’m ridiculously paranoid about aches and pains and a gigantic hypochondriac to boot, so usually this would be a hie-thee-to-a-doctor situation. Unfortunately for me I’m lacking in heath insurance at the moment,* so the hieing is not happening. I briefly considered going to a local teaching hospital where I know I’d qualify for a decent financial discount, but as I really do know what’s going on with my knee and have had the x-rays and prodding and all that crap done before I decided I’d really only be taking advantage of that system. Not cool. So I did what any normal poor hypochondriac would do to fix their problem: I turned to my old buddy, Dr. Google.

Some hunting and pecking for IT band physical therapy yielded an amazing video with a bunch of theraband exercises designed to work the butt, hip and outer-thigh muscles that are usually to blame for IT pain, and numerous people stating that it was exactly what they’d been told to do in physical therapy. Hooray! I went out on Sunday and bought a cheapo theraband knockoff and, Monday night, performed the whole rehabbing routine in my living room.

Two quick observations about the exercises: 1) Jesus Christ I felt like such a little old lady lying on my floor doing leg raises and clamshells with a damned theraband. All I needed were legwarmers and tiny pink dumbbells and I could have been a fifty-year-old housewife doing a Jane Fonda tape. And of course, R’s desk looks out over the living room, so sexy time for him. That was fucking embarrassing. 2) Fuck you, pistol squats. I hate you.

So after doing the whole routine, my ego was a bit bruised but my body was fine. I went to bed Monday night feeling happy and proactive about my health, which is a rare feeling for me. Then I woke up Tuesday morning, which turned out to be a mistake. My right leg, which includes the reasonable, non-bitchy knee, was perfectly fine. But the left leg. Hoo boy. How to explain what this felt like?

Okay, so every now and then a good friend will bribe you with beer and pizza to help them move, and you’ll do anything for free beer and pizza so you agree to do it. And everything’s fine, you’re just shifting boxes around and moving lampshades, when your friend drops the bomb: you’ve gotta help him move his monstrous couch, man. Oh, and he has a bad back, so it’s you and his friend from Dungeons and Dragons night at the bar who looks like he weighs 98 pounds soaking wet. You can feel the beer and pizza being dangled like a carrot, so you say yes through your irritation and you and Scrawny start manhandling the furniture. Everything goes well until you get to the truck and Puny can’t manage to lift it high enough, so you say “oh, fuck it,” deadlift one end the damned thing up to truck height and shove it onto the truck bumper** before collapsing in a puddle to watching everyone else unceremoniously push it in. You recover, gorge on your hard-earned junk food, and go to bed feeling every inch the good friend. Then, when you wake up in the morning, every single little stabilizing muscle in your posterior chain is screaming at you and you spend the entire day crawling around your apartment wishing voodoo were real so you could properly get your revenge. That’s kind of what happened with my left leg, only worse.

My quadriceps and hamstrings were perfectly okay, but every tiny little muscle I never knew existed in my hip and on the outer edge of my thigh were screaming. I also discovered that, judging by the soreness, my left glutes are so weak that they apparently do nothing.*** I hardened the fuck up and went for my run because I know more movement would make things better, but still wound up wobbling around the house like I’d been shot Gump-style for most of the day.**** I’m still feeling sore today. Christ, little-old-lady exercises should not fuck you up as badly as these did me.

On the plus side, my knee did feel a little better yesterday. Let’s hope that’s a trend and the soreness merely an isolated indecent.

* Thanks, pre-existing conditions! Thyroid: 1, MJ: 0.
** I realize this is no big deal for people who actually lift weights, but I’m not one of them.
*** Apparently that ass cheek is purely decorative.
**** It is my deepest blogging regret that I was unable to work a Candide reference into this paragraph, because that’s how you make butt jokes with style and class.