Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Of the many embarrassing things that one could get caught doing, I never thought stretching would top my list. Today, I had flashbacks to those precious high school years of awkward groping on some couch in the house where your parents aren’t. You know, you’re in the throes of unbridled teenage passion when you suddenly hear footsteps or a door open and your entire body blushes and it gets to be 100 degrees under your shirt (if you’re wearing one)….Wooo. Where was I?

Ah, yes. So, it’s no secret on my blog and for anyone who comes within five meters of me that I’m desperately trying to rehab a nagging knee injury. That’s meant stretching and “active rehab” exercises whenever I get a free minute. This isn’t relegated to home either.

My hamstrings are pulled tight like bow strings and one session of stretching per night isn’t giving me the results I’m after. I’ve been inclined to closing my office door to a crack and dropping down to the floor to get my stretch on. If smokers can have their 10 minute break however many times a day, why can’t I engage in a healthy activity that releases those compressed muscles that die more and more everyday while I go from chair to chair.

I’m also not above one legged squats while standing at the printer or stationary B-skips. In fact, one day recently, Mrs. Onthebusrunning and I were in some clothing store. While she thumbed through hangers, I started doing form drills to loosen up my hips. She did a double take when she noticed what was going on.

“What are you doing?”
“Form drills, my hip flexors feel tight.”
“Well, stop it. You look ridiculous.”


Ice is a constant. At times, I’ve felt like some sort of cold compress should be surgically sewn to my knee so I don’t have to keep getting up and going to the freezer…although that’s an opportunity for some lunges. I digress.

Last week, I stood in front of the freezer filling a zip lock bag with ice (can’t forget to use the cup or tongs, not your hands), which apparently is not common practice because it aroused quite a commotion.

“What are you doing?”
(Really?) “I need some ice.”
“For what?”
“For my knee.”
(someone else walks by)
“What do you need ice for?”
“His knee. Are you still running?”
“I’m trying to.”
“Even though you’re hurt? That doesn’t sound smart. I only run if someone’s chasing me…with a knife.”
(This is where I die a little inside.)
“It’s fine. Or it’s getting better…”
“Well, don’t forget to use the tongs.”


Trying to spring to action when icing your knee is tough as well. “Come on, we have to go the meeting.”

“Ok, I’ll be right there.”
“Oh, are you still icing your knee?”
“Hope you’re not trying to run on it.”  Everyone's an expert.

Beyond icing and stretching, I’ve taken to doing step ups on the stairwell. The beauty is that if anyone comes, you can just keep walking right on up the stairs. They’ll be so shocked that you’re taking the stairs and not the elevator that it won’t even be an issue.

Back to today, though. Going from meeting to meeting seems to be my new life. I finally got back to my office to sit in my own chair when I felt the cramp coming on in my hamstring. I stood up and just bent over to try and touch my toes (something I’ve never been able to do) and felt that tension start to fade away. I may have groaned, I can’t remember it felt so good. Until…my coworker walked by.

“What are you doing?”

Cue the startled, hot flash surging through me. My ears burnt, instant sweat.

“Oh, ah, I was, um, I was just having a stretch,” because apparently I become Canadian when I’m flustered and I have things instead of do things, like I might have a shower later tonight after the run I probably shouldn't be doing according to everyone who doesn't run.
“Whatever. You still icing that knee of yours?”
“When I can.”
“I hope you’re not sticking your hand in that tray.”


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