Journal Entry #10 : On the importance of taking care of your body
So I guess this little journal entry is valid not just for cyclists, but for all type of athletes and even non-athletes.
However, I think it is especially pertinent for daily commuters.
So here goes.
For fifteen years, ballet was a big part of my life. I was flexible, in excellent shape, and I had a great cardio strength. On the other hand, it kinda’ ruined my knees and my back (having flat feet and a hyperlordosis certainly did not help).
All is not lost. Ballet taught me discipline, endurance, and it helped me build a very high pain tolerance. Seriously, nothing will teach you that more than spending hours standing gracefully on the tip of your toes while executing series of movement requiring perfect balance.
Still, I got stuck with back problems that were getting more painful year after years and I never really took the time to fix this issue. I pretty much accepted that back problems where just another thing defining me. I’m the girl who always complain about her back, that’s normal right?
Yeah, no it’s not.
Like most of you know, I broke my left wrist last August, then it was getting better, then it got worse. I’m left-handed, I’m a writer and a cyclist, pain in my left wrist sucks a lot.
Luckily, I got a free chiro consult and x-rays thanks to my participation at the 24h de Tremblant. That’s what it took to get my ass to a chiropractor.
And honestly, I regret not going before. Yes, it’s expensive without insurance, but living back pain free and getting the tools to avoid ending up with a hunch back like most women in my family (HI Y’ALL) is well worth it.
Also, since december, I try to take at least 30 minutes everyday to stretch or to do a bit of yoga on top of my chiro and kinesiologist prescribed exercices, even if I don’t feel like it sometimes.
What’s my point here?
Biking as a mode of transportation is still a sport, and like athletes do in all other sports commuters should stretch and work on their posture. Taking care of your body will improve your riding and will help you avoid aches and pains.
It seems like a stupid thing to say, but most commuters I know, past me included, skimp on that.
So that’s where I was getting at with all that chitchat : stretch/do yoga, care for yourself, and take care of your musculoskeletal injuries.
PS – If you are broke like yours truly, Yoga with Adriene is an awesome alternative to yoga classes.
PPS – If you can, switch your office chair for an exercice ball. Just make sure you get the right size for you height. Light core workout without even realizing PLUS great spine alignment.