…. my arse! Although strictly speaking it was my hip flexor that caused the pain not my arse and I’m damn sure the only thing I gained was a massive dent to my ego and 4 weeks out of my 2017 half marathon training plan. For someone who has only just re-started this whole running journey, this sort of thing leaves a huge dent in your fitness levels.
Now, for those of you who bunked off of biology at school (guilty!) the hip flexor’s are a group of muscles at the front of the hip starting from your lower back and pelvis and inserting itself into the thigh bone. These muscles take responsibility for you being able to raise your knee towards your chest, they also aid in walking, running, rolling over in bed, picking yourself off the floor, getting off the loo and a whole host of other leg raising activities you genuinely didn’t realise you did until you achieve the giddy heights of a strain to your hip region.
I have learned lessons though! lots and lots of lessons, some of which I really didn’t want to learn, but learn from it I did nonetheless.
- Your head rules your body – the head has convinced the body that it is a youthful 20 something year old when in reality, the body is twice that age (and then some), has been to hell and back during its mis-spent youth, progressed into motherhood twice and now ….. exercise! It was always going to be a shock to the system, moving limbs that haven’t been moved for decades but the head told the body it was ok to go ahead and in its naughty, deceiving, conniving way it told the body it didn’t need to warm up or cool down. Now I’m no expert, but I would say if a middle-aged person, such as myself, was about to embark on some form of torturous exercise regime it would be wise to do both! Lesson 1, very much learned!
- You become a better driver – So bear with me on this one! I drive an automatic car. I use my right let to operate the peddles whilst my left leg takes a well-earned rest. My hip flexor injury was in my right leg! Whilst this sounds like a recipe for disaster, my driving actually improved. For almost a week, I had to physically lift my leg up by the thigh and place it on the required pedal and for me to have the skills to do this I had to be more aware of my surroundings. I used mirrors to see what was around me instead of using them to yell at the kids on the back seat, I drove slower because any sudden movement would cause me to cry out in pain and I had patience for the other drivers sharing the roads with me, even managing to thank an Audi driver for using their indicator to inform me that they were about to turn right whilst sitting in the left hand lane. See! empathy, kindness and patience all round. (Editors note – please don’t try this at home! it’s an incredibly stupid thing to do!.. the driving with a dodgy leg that is … not the Audi who discovered their indicator!)
- My children have hearts – This was probably the toughest lesson I’ve learned to date. My girls are at an age where it’s all about them and in my haze of despair, whilst juggling a full-time job with being a full-time parent, I firmly believed they didn’t possess a kind bone in their body’s. Never have I been proved more wrong than when my almost 3-year-old attended a birthday party at one of those god-awful indoor climbing places. She made me sit down and rest, insisting that she was a grown up and could climb all the way to the top without me. Having got to the top of the giant climbing frame she then dissolved into a sea of tears, screamed at the top of her voice that I had to go and get her and once there, told me we should go down the slide so that I didn’t hurt my leg!. Three repetitions later and I was ready for the drugs/alcohol combo, but its ok! she was on hand again to help me up the stairs into the party room by taking me firmly by the hand whilst announcing in her loudest voice that “mummy was too old to climb the stairs by herself”. The eldest child helped by getting her own breakfast, getting her own bag ready for school and occasionally interrupting her YouTube session to ask “you ok?” quickly reverting back to her iPad before I’d had a chance to answer. God love ’em, hearts of gold I tell you!.
- Take the support offered – I have a hip support now. Psychologically, I think it will help. Physically, I’m glad I’m not a man as despite being unisex I can see how it would be very easy to trap the crown jewels in one of these things and potentially bring a whole new meaning to the term “groin strain”.
These were my 4 biggest lesson’s learned and I will carry them with me as I take the scenic route to recovery on the rocky road to my marathon next year.
A wise person on twitter (yes I know! wise and twitter in the same sentence!) , anyway a person on twitter once wrote “Knowledge wants to talk. Wisdom wants to listen”, never a truer word …..