S is for Stretching

Since I am a woman I am the target of every hate-yourself-more marketing campaign. I’ve just watched a program that was recorded on Lifetime television, and as I zoomed through the commercials, I can tell you that THEY think I should be worried about getting fit with special foods and snacks, I presume so that I can wear a bikini, possibly one with a floral motif and a matching jumper. After that, I can focus on my falling cheekbones, or apples if you will, feeling embarrassed about peeing my pants during those “Dear Kitten” commercials, and using the best face serum.
Beyond sunscreen and avoiding deformity, I am not worried about my face. It’s a good face. It never launched a thousand ships and it never broke a mirror.

It’s the loss of elasticity that bothers me.
Not my skin, my muscles!

I stretch daily.
I’m flexible — bendy, even.

Age 41 is apparently the age at which, for my body, performing the most mundane tasks can result in a pulled muscle. Or a muscle spasm. Or a catch. Or maybe a charley horse. Generally, after doing something extraordinarily common, say, stepping out of the tub, or fetching my coffee cup from the cabinet, sudden pain sets in, causing me to swear, leap, spin around, flail about, trying to reverse stretch and unfuck whatever the hell just happened. It’s like a sick dance. Poor unsuspecting me.

Yes, I know my body is slowly deteriorating and I’m in for more fun as the years pass by.
Old muscles are stiff. And mine surround stiff joints.
Last year, I learned I should stretch before shoveling snow or raking leaves.
After a lot of yard work, I feel like The Tin-Man, and I’m okay with that.

This particular issue bothers me because it’s inconsistent and random. Like those times when you get up from the table and your knee didn’t get the memo — this has happened to me throughout my life, but it seems to be increasing with age.

Obviously I am wasting my time with traditional exercise. What I need to be doing is exercise that mimics these actions.
For instance, instead of yoga twist poses, I should be imitating these “difficult” tasks ten to twenty times a day.

“Reach for the shampoo! And one, and two, and three!
Stop and pick up that bag, and left, and right, and left again!
High-step that tub!
Change that lightbulb! Turn it, turn it! And again! And one more!”

Do you also do the sick dance of the unsuspecting?

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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43 Responses to S is for Stretching

  1. markbialczak says:

    Hey, the secret of aging gracefully is knowing what’s happening each step of the way. And you do, Joey. Stretch it out as much as you can. I know what you mean. I get so stiff from repeated actions, too. I end up walking like the old Redd Foxx in ‘Sandord and Son.” And, by the way, those campaigns that try to make women (and non model-quality men) feel lesser, are pure crap. We just can’t all be like that.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh man, do I know that dance. I used to fuck up my back and my neck. My neck was the worst. I’d turn my head to look at something and it would seize up like a rusty hinge. I turned my head! That’s it! When I took up running this stopped. But now if I stop running regularly it comes back. WTF am I gioing to to when I’m too old and tired to run?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Josh Wrenn says:

    The voice for Dear Kitten is a guy called Ze Frank. You should search his site and check out some of his vlogs. If you think those commercials are funny, you will love his earlier stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    Maintaining flexibility and balance is so important as we get older. So as much as I don’t like it, I do yoga once or twice a week. (I get easily bored. I like to move around.) But as you mention, we should practice every day movements, too, so I have some DVDs that stretch you as well as put you through functional movements, things you do on a daily basis like lift heavy objects, twist, etc.

    And I’m with you: sunscreen is the best thing we can give our skin.

    Liked by 3 people

    • If I didn’t live with a runner, I wouldn’t be able to get out of some of these spasms, lol! Text to The Mister, “Calf muscle seized. Dying. Please advise.”
      I will look for some functional stretching stuff, thanks, Carrie.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. hollie says:

    My muscles are mostly ok so far but I’ve got the joints of a 70 year old. I hobbled through the house like an old lady tonight because I can feel the weather coming in my knees and feet. My left hip almost always hurts but today even my hands and wrists are feeling it. So now I’m propped up with pillows in a feeble attempt to try to get comfortable and I’m about to start a book. Maybe you should create a workout video of regular activities and make millions!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. meANXIETYme says:

    I get those muscle spasms. I leaned over to pick something up off the floor and when I reached for it, it felt like my muscle retracted like a bungee cord. WTF. But yeah, happens to me all the time and it sucks. Doing normal stuff. Standing up, sitting down, leaning left. Who can’t lean to the left? Me apparently. But I don’t flail about because OUCH OUCH OUCH. I usually scream, moan, cry, curse loudly, then easy myself to some sort of resting position and beg my husband to fetch me my ice pack or my heating pad.
    I’m a few years ahead of you and I loathe to tell you that sadly, it does not get better with increasing age…


    • Ugh. I will stretch and stretch. This cannot go on!

      Liked by 1 person

      • meANXIETYme says:

        LOL I used to be so limber. My knees always hyper-extended when I stood. I could put both my arms behind my back and almost touch the nape of my neck. My PT person told me that’s probably why I’m so screwed up now…ain’t that a hoot? I’m still limber to a point, but not the way I used to be. And all of it hurts so much more than it used to.
        I know keeping muscles strong and flexible are the best medicine, but man it hurts to practice that!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. LindaGHill says:

    Ha! Funny post.
    At 41 I started Karate. Never been in better shape in my life. Now I’m fifty-one and God am I out of shape. But I tell you this because one of the things they taught us both in Karate and the Tai Chi I was doing at the time that we SHOULD be using those everyday tasks as excuses to stretch. From a Tai Chi standpoint it’s a meditation. Being in the moment and paying attention to what you’re doing rather than just doing it. With practice it becomes easy. Moving mediation is just as good as sitting. Try it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a very valid point! It’s like I can’t just suddenly do something now, like I need to prepare for it!
      The Mister has some Tai Chi stuff. I’ll try it.
      Mindfulness is one of the things I need to practice anyway.
      I sure don’t see myself takin up any karate…


      • LindaGHill says:

        Meh, karate shmerate. Tai Chi’s where it’s at. 🙂 So is mindfulness. With enough practice you won’t even notice you’re doing it anymore. Kinda like me with using my left hand for everything.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Anxious Mom says:

    Note to self–start doing something that resembles stretching.

    I love the new yoga moves “reach for the shampoo!” hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sammy D. says:

    Can you YouTube yourself please? I’m especially interested in the flailing about followed by reverse unstretches sequence. I might need to see it in slow motion.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Prajakta says:

    Ha ha 🙂 Stretch for the shampoo – untill you said it, I never realized that I ACTUALLY do that.. Yay for me! But I remember someone telling me, more than a workout – stretching is more important to an otherwise healthy body.
    P.S. I like jumpers and flowery motifs 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Elle says:

    scathing, powerful! Love this!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s sad but true. I can now hurt myself just getting out of bed in the morning. It’s a great whiz bang way to start the day 😉 I ain’t one of “those” who will be aging gracefully…more like…clumsily 😀

    Keep on stretching man.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan Antion says:

    I love your posts. It is so good to start the day laughing, I mean stretching. Well, so far, laughing hasn’t caused spasms so I guess I’m in no danger. After I went through my second round of physical therapy for shoulder problems, I was once again given exercises to do at home. The PT told me I could slack off on the weight stuff after a while, but that I had to do the stretches for the rest of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ha Ha! I do a weird ‘get rid of the cramp quick’ dance. For some reason as I have got older the slightest thing can give me cramp in places I never even knew you could get it. I have the delight of dreadful cramp in my back if I twist to quickly, then I am twirling around trying to get it to release its vice like grip. I get it in my feet, legs and chest as well. Horrid.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “It’s a good face. It never launched a thousand ships and it never broke a mirror.” Possibly the best line I have read all week! It’s exactly how I think about mine. As long as neither man nor beast run shrieking, I’m good. Bestie (40) and I (37) were laughing about how our hips were creaking this week. Also include hanging out washing and some light gardening in your exercise video, which I absolutely think should make it to YouTube!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. cardamone5 says:

    Very funny.

    I know you will be very annoyed with the following and consider dropping me (as intimated in one of your recent posts…not at me specifically, but in general), but I find that working out helps me avoid injuries suffered from more routine tasks. I have done P90X for a year (an extreme cross ft program) and it makes me stronger, etc. That said, I’ll probably break my leg on my way to get my breakfast because I believe in jinxes and am very surprised I even tempted fates with this comment.

    But, in general, getting old sucks. And how come they can’t invent real looking hair color? I just got my hair cut yesterday, and it looks so fake. i want it to look natural. OH!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness, do not get me started on hair color, Elizabeth. Do I even know the color of my hair? Is it even ONE color? Oy.
      I can’t do anything so vigorous as P90X. About the most vigorous I can do is tennis and sex, maybe a bit of a jog with the dog or a bit of jump rope, none of which I will do when it’s hot. I can’t get that hot, I overheat entirely. My Rosacea will flare up for several days after. That’s a lot of pain and itching, not worth the effort. Much easier to give up noodles all summer 😉
      Yoga is very good for me. Barre on the floor. Swimming. Walks. Dancing. Cycling. Lil hula hoop. Planking. Moderate weights. Nothing dramatically high impact. I’m considering buying some roller skates 😀
      I really, really hope you didn’t break your leg on your way to fetch breakfast! No jinxing!


  17. Sherry says:

    I’m hugely better for the swimming I do 5 days a week. I mean almost all my aches are gone. My back is still weak, but only bothers me if I stand for too long. But I’m almost ready to give up tylenol period. Only take 2 a day at night, and I’m gonna stop that. So no other exercise works as well for me and I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I feel your pain, Joey. Stretching is good but don’t over do it. Yoga is good for me but not too much either. Michael Pollan who writes really fun and interesting things about food wrote once, “Everything is moderation, even moderation.” I kind of apply that to my life. A little bit of everything and sometimes a lot of something, even if it’s not that good for me. I compensate, if you see what I mean. Someone above mentioned swimming. Water is actually good for muscle pain and joints. And a great massage, not beauty massage, but therapy. Excellent if you get a chance.

    Liked by 1 person

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