Barefoot Muscle Memory

Collage of varius Gray's muscle pictures by Mi...
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Do your muscles remember the time Ryan’s buddies held you against the wall while he punched you in the gut? Do they remember the twist in his face when he realized he couldn’t hurt you because you did sit-ups everyday? They must remember how the sneaky bastard waited for you to walk past the blind alley and the hard thump, the sharp bolt of pain, the breath knocked clean from your lungs; they might even remember the sound of that cracked rib.

The body never really lets go of the anguish of past; instead it just twitches some of it out every now and then. It’s like wringing a towel. You can twist it hard and furious, but it’s always going to have some damp in it. If you want it dry, you have to give to the sun.

At some point everything goes to the sun, muscles, bones, the ones we love. Maybe that’s why the body tries to hold onto everything to store it in everyplace it can find; so one day you can remember everything: the first time you mother hugged you, your first barefoot run, your first kiss…

Muscles, muscles, my army of movement, I praise you, I sing your hymn. Without you I am a pile of flesh.  May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you carry my memories, my pain, my pleasure, my very life with ease.

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Pain from a Strain? Or sore from a chore?

Is it a sore muscle or is it a torn muscle? The knowing the difference can save you

Muscle long fléchisseur de l'hallux
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weeks of rehab (but if you do end up with a  full rupture, you can use that time to learn French so you can read the diagram on the right).

Muscle damage from ripping all or some of  the muscle fibers and the tendons attached to the muscle can occur from suddenly overloading the muscle too fast or from chronic overuse and insufficient recovery. Sudden unexplained pain in a muscle may be s symptom of DEADLY medical condition, if muscle pain comes from nowhere, seek medical attention ASAP. It could save your life.

Le Signs of Muscle Strain:

  • Pain in muscle during periods of rest and inactivity.
  • Weakness or Inability to contract the muscle.
  • Bruising, often the bruises will travel. So, there may be bruising near your ankle even though the pain is in your calf.

(This post is officially over. But here is an exciting “deleted” scene. And by deleted I mean completely included.)

Medical advice from a barefoot runner who is NOT a medical professional or reptilian humanoid:

Ice packs or wraps will alleviate swelling. Apply immediately and for no longer than twenty minutes at a time. Slightly stretch/elongate the muscle for best results. Don’t apply heat too early! OMG, you will regret it. I used wet heat the first night of my calf strain. The next day it felt like rats had gnawed it and the twitchy spasms drove me insane. Heat should be applied by the injured party when the swelling has decreased.

Deleted Scene Commentary:

When the passive voice is used by me, I like to add weak,lifeless phrases such as “the injured party”. It reminds of all the bad writing I committed in Mr. Edwards English class. He would write “AWK” in red ink next to almost every sentence of mine. But the awkward phrases were my favorite ones. I never changed them. I let them tumble around the page. When I read them again, they would project many stupid images into my brain’s theater.  Now playing: “Injured Party”.  A ripped “happy birthday” banner slithers in the wind,  below it a tangle of unhappy hunched figures in blue suits and gray, Victorian dresses; at their feet: wet confetti, popped balloons, and spilled punch bowls. Now that is an “injured party”.) OK that was “AWK. You need to re-write this. Come see me after class, we to talk about your grades.”