Sunday, April 5, 2009

The BoneCrusher.....

Ever have to live or deal with a problem for a really long time… and no I don’t mean your wife or boss. Cycling is one of those sports whereby if you do enough of it, you're pretty likely to get one eventually. Though I’d love to be an exception to the rule, that’s not the case.

The repetitive motion, muscle imbalances, less than ideal body fit & mechanics, the injuries from a major or minor crash and if you’re not on top of it, an underlying problem creeps into your life slowing and insidiously. Making a home for itself in your otherwise blissful cycling world.

It’s probably even fair to assess that most people, even or especially athlete’s create premature wear on their bodies, joints in particular. It'd be easy to go on a long tirade of how proper mechanics, strengthening & flexibility could save a whole heck of a lot of grief & greatly lengthen one’s time in any sport. Your joints don’t wear out just because they wear out – rather like a set of imbalanced tires on your vehicles, if you put the wear & pressure on an isolated area, instead of the full intended area, it’s not going to last anywhere near the fully intended duration. And like that set of tires, you don’t notice it suddenly. It just creeps into your life slowly & methodically.

So word to the wise, even if you think you’re doing your heart & lungs the best thing in the word by going for a 1 to 5 hr ride (which you are), don’t forget the muscles & joint structures that make it possible and they need care & treatment as well.

About a third of my training time is spent on pre/post care & prevention – warming up & activating certain muscles groups before riding, stretching afterwards. A lot of time? Well, considering the alternative, not necessarily. Add to that the incorporation of strength & balance training each week to areas that don’t get used when I’m on the bike and it keeps me feeling pretty good.

I’ve made more mistakes than most and tend to always learn the hard way, but in time either you get smarter or ….suffer and suffer some more. Secondly, the bad news of all this is you can try & do things perfect but you’re still going to miss some things some times.

Which leads to me to the BoneCrusher…. for 6 months and probably much, much longer I’ve had nagging problems despite all precautions & preventative measures I endure to put in place. Contrary to what I said above, you can think you’re doing all the right stuff, but if you miss a critical area, all the “right” stuff you are doing isn’t going to fix it. Thinking it is – which usually describes me – just keeps making things worse.

I’ve had a chronic mid back, hip & pelvic issues for a long time. Last week it came to head when I had difficulty just walking, let along trying to pedal. It was time to resort to the BoneCrusher. I’ve had massages done, I’ve gone to physical therapists, I’ve incorporating stretching & core training, but sometimes things still get missed or undiagnosed. That’s my entire point, don’t hesitate to get professional help & when it doesn’t work continue to see some other professional until it does.

I spent last week getting crushed, pressed on, twisted & electrocuted, several times over. Went to a sports medicine Chiropractor aka BoneCrusher. And despite my ill-thought notions of Chiropractors, if you find the right one, it can help and you don’t feel like you have to “drink the chiropractic Cool-aid”. I’ve still got a ways to go before I’m fully mended but at least I was able to get back on the bike & pedal with my right leg, and not only that I was able to pound out some of my best intervals this year.

For the most part I’m just enjoying the training process right now. Anxious for racing? Of course, but six weeks is still a long ways to go before the Cable Off Road Classic & the Iola Bump & Jump. Winter still seems to have it firm grip on the northern most reaches of Wisconsin, because if it’s not cold, it’s windy…. Or actually it’s usually both lately. However just like stock markets that go down & down & down, they eventually turn around and go up & up, as does winter give way to spring & summer. Sometimes both just take alittle more patience than one seems to have.