Last week, my back started hurting like crazy. Not in a “something is wrong” way; more just in a “your muscles weren’t meant to be sitting in front of a computer fourteen hours a day” kind of way. My bad.
By Thursday, it had gotten to the point where I was so desperate for relief, I considered asking a coworker to just hold up their hand so I could jam my back into it repeatedly in an attempt to get out the knot that was lurking squarely in between my shoulder blades. Luckily, before I actually did that, I got a better idea – putting an apple in between my back and my desk chair and leaning against it foam roller-style. Surprisingly, it worked pretty well and helped me feel a bit better…
…at least until my flight home that night. By Friday morning, I was begging BF to help (which he did, thank you!), and trying to figure out if I had room in my packed schedule to book a real massage. As luck would have it, I already had a deep tissue massage booked for Sunday afternoon (thanks to winning the Equinox challenge with Melissa), though, so I decided to try to hold off till then. (Painfully!)
The Equinox spa turned out to be very luxurious and chi-chi, and I started to relax as soon as I put on the thick robe and sat down to a cup of tea in the waiting area. How could I get this experience at home??? I made a mental note to call Alice’s Tea Cup and find out exactly which blend of tea they had provided to Equinox. When I met my masseuse, he asked how long it had been since my last massage (hey, at least that meant I wasn’t making a fool of myself in the waiting room acting like a newbie!), and I told him it had been “a few months” (true, but not in a place as nice as this). At first, I chuckled inwardly when he responded that I was obviously long overdue. But after he worked out all the tension, I felt phenomenal – perhaps something like this should be a regular activity.
I started thinking about massages the same way I learned to think about visits to a psychologist: sometimes, investing in something that makes you happy and keeps you sane is worth a lot more to your well-being than whatever else you would have spent the money on. I left on Sunday feeling incredible, but after just one more plane trip and one more long day back at the stress of work, my back is already tense again. I can’t say that I’m going to be able to afford weekly sessions at Equinox, but perhaps I can find a less glam and more affordable setup that will give me a good deal if I commit to coming regularly? It’s worth looking into – I felt so blissed out after Sunday’s massage and I’d do anything to get that feeling on a regular basis, and perhaps not let the tension build up quite so much.
In the meantime, I want to figure out what I can do on my own to reduce my neck/back/shoulder tension… and I’m starting with a new workout routine. The last few weeks, I’ve been becoming pretty gung ho about both running and Crossfit – and haven’t hit the gym even once, since I do both of those outdoors. Crossfit certainly involves plenty of strength training, but I am definitely missing my normal lifting workouts at the gym, and I’d like to make that a part of my routine again. Since I’m taking a few days off from running anyway due to the beginning signs of shinspints (ugh, yeah, did I mention how I went gung ho with running? Dumb Laura), I thought it’d be a great time to create my own lifting program and really focus on muscles that will help my posture. Here’s what I’ve got:
Superset A: 3 sets
10 reps bent over reverse fly
10 reps alternating overhead press
Superset B: 3 sets
10 reps single leg deadlift
10 reps cable row
Short, but sweet – which is I think exactly what I need so that I can combine it with both the Crossfit and running. I’ve gotten pretty obsessed with doing a travel workout of the day in the morning, so this lets me get some training in while still having time for a short Crossfit challenge before heading to work. Now I just need to come up with a good set of exercises for a “day 2″ of my newly designed “program”, and hopefully my back will be straight and relaxed in no time.
Anyone have any posture / relaxation tips to share?