Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bu-Bye Back Pain

One day, I think I was 12 years old, I walked off the tennis court in tears. My lower back hurt so much that I couldn't even rally in the service box. Weak from little to no strength training combined with absolutely zero stretching produced a chronic back ache that had me off the sport for three months and in and out of massage therapist and chirporacter offices. Nothing seemed to do the trick however. I rolled on baseballs, raquetballs, had my dad use his elbow, but nothing could get into my muscles/tissue deep enough to release the tightness.
Eventually, after some time off, the pain subsided, but the underlying problem remained. It flared up again bad 2 years later to the point where I had to be carried out of a match. Then, back to therapy and once more it hid.
When I started triathlon I had already developed a decent strength training program that helped a lot in supporting my new training style for swim, bike, run. Soon enough though, after months of summer running like I never had before, the pain was back. Thankfully I found a massage therapist at a race, Pauline Hetherington, who after a couple of sessions had me back running. Pauline has been my friend and massage therapist since then (2006), and I haven't had any serious back problems since. I thought it was gone for good.
Today, however, I realized it was still there waiting for me to screw up (either by slightly overtraining, making a wrong move, lifting something I shouldn't, etc) and needed some major breakage to really work out the tension that has accumulated over the years- not only in my glutes/low back, but shoulders as well...
Due to traffic and driving distance, and recommendation from Ahmed, I started seeing Donald Mullins for massage about a month ago. Today's session was an awakening. The 250+lb NFL looking dude got his elbow and broke through muscle tissue like a hammer through jello. I know I'll be sore tomorrow after gritting through the best pain in the world. It was worth every second of pain knowing that finally I was getting deeper than anything I could have imagined and will, eventually after a couple more sessions, bring my body to full recovery since that first day I walked out of the court.
That, along with the cold that is compressing my head and causing me to sneeze every minute, will surely have me passed out very early tonight. I regret not running on the treadmill today. It was somewhat sunny and 60s, rare for January, so I decided to do my hour run at the lake. But the wind was incredible and the cold air made my throat burn and I think will prolong my being sick :(
Otherwise, my legs felt really loose and my turnover efficient, which is why it would have been much better health and fitness wise to get on the treadmill and run without sinus misery.