Today I bought…
A ridiculous amount of food from Pret A Manger. As ever. But, after two days deliberation I also bought one of the above – a Rumble Roller.
Lots of books about yoga discuss these ‘rolling pin’ type tolls for massaging the muscles, describing a rather awkward sounding set of exercises in which this item is placed under the legs whilst the user, supporting themselves by their arms rolls backwards and forwards, essentially providing themselves with a massage. Whilst exercising. I wasn’t convinced.
Whilst on Yoga retreat (I promise to deliver the goodies on this experience some day soon) a fellow yogi enthused about the complementary relationship between running and yoga. This, I have since found is a highly debatable issue, but as long distance running was a passion of mine I shared my final obstacle that lead me to hang my running shoes. Even now, I cringe at my last attempt with a group of die hard BMF’ers (British Military Fitness – 5 times a week at 6 am before work, often followed by another post-work sport) who were running (overground) all of the stations of each tube line, one line at a time. My challenge wasn’t to complete the entire line but to cover 10km of the distance in support. The Northern Line was fantastic, but by the Bakerloo I was having familiar problems. An early onset of the searing pain through my shin didn’t quite knock me out of the game, but after pulling out and catching a bus to re-join I was finally defeated at Edgware Road Station and waved goodbye to the team before hobbling very slowly down the spiral staircase… I almost expected the security guard to give me a hand. The pain was so persistent that arriving at Stratford Station was a concern and I nearly stayed on a little longer.
I don’t remember getting home that day, but I do remember a feeble apology attempt to the group leader that was met with a silence still echoing through my contact list to this day. When I heard that she herself succeeded in completing the challenge on a fractured shin and collapsed on the kitchen floor in her own vomit that night I knew I could never be that hardcore, pursuit of the sport seemed pointless.
The pain, it transpired, had more to do with a contracted calf than the shin itself. My calfs do get MAHOOSIVE when running regularly, so this made sense. (In fact when I tried to take my leggings off after practice today I had a highly embarrassing and painful situation where the bottoms refused to pass my calfs…)
Drafted in at last minute to run in the Thunder run, the injury was beginning to play on my mind, bringing me back to the Yogi’s advice.
1.Start slowly (Well that opportunity is out of the window)
2. Continue to practice Yoga alongside training (New experience, and it’s working! Again, for another day)
3. Try using a roller to massage the muscles after training.
I didn’t much intend on the third until my test run. The following day climbing stairs was difficult thanks to the top of my thighs, the thought of Awkward pose in yoga was frighting. Gary needed to get trial shoes and left me wandering around the store – dangerous. Here I found an extraordinary looking collection of rollers. Some looked like dumbbells, others with grids. I can’t explain why I was most drawn to this fearsome looking foam roll, probably an Indiana Jones prop in a previous life, but that evening I ‘YouTube’d the hell out of it. And finally fell asleep with boredom.
During todays practice I realised it had to be done. With 30 minutes to get from St James’s to Westfield, Stratford it was a big ask… closing doors loomed large as I barged some foreign exchange students to the right side of the escalator and bounded into a store of slightly taken aback shop assistants. It occurred to me I may have been their first customer all day.
I brought it home. I tried it. It was exhausting and painful. I wasn’t sure I was doing it right but kept on anyway, because that’s pretty much what I do. Then I got bored and went on a hunt for food.
At that point I realised that I really DID feel as though I had just had a deep tissue sports massage. It was glorious. I’ve not attempted to use it on my back, I’m not sure if you’re supposed to, I certainly need to get a little more acrobatic to get best use out of it but wow- totally different effect from Shakti Mat, but there is not no tension in any of my leg muscles. I understand that weight lifters use this for their arms (mine aren’t quite at that level) but for £40 I can have that leg massage feeling whenever I want. And hopefully my legs won’t be too strained in all this last minute training for Thunder Run.