Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Saturday, June 11, 2011

#SDCC letter of the day S for Stretch

Stretching – it’s not just for athletes.
When you get up in the morning, go ahead and try to touch your toes. Can you to it? That is a good sign you need to do more stretching.
I habitually stretch in the mornings.  I’m not talking about an hour of power yoga or Pilates or whatever the cool fad is. I’m talking about some basics.
Over 2 decades ago Kae and I had breakfast in bed in St Louis when we attended the National card show. When we finished eating I picked up the tray and felt very sharp pains in my back and I couldn’t breathe. As I spiraled to the ground in agony I concentrated on not dropping the service tray.  I lay on the floor and gasped for breath.  This was nasty pain.  Besides being intense it had totally blindsided me. Kae didn’t have a clue what was happening as moaned and coughed out a few laughs at the same time.
Yes, I both laughed and cried at the same time.  I was crying from the pain but laughing as I realized I was too young to be having an attack of the back.
It was back spasms. The spasm lasted several minutes.
The aftermath lasted several days.  The first day I could not pick up the bag I carry all day at the show.  The second day I could start twisting my body left and right to look at stuff but still experienced sharp pain.  The rest of the week was a constant dull ache.
It almost ruined my convention.  From then on I started morning stretching.  I never wanted that to occur again. And knock wood it hasn’t.
SDCC is a strain on the body.  You will be using muscles you normally don’t use or using them more than normal as you walk the floor or spend hours bent over looking at boxes of comics.
At the end of the day you are hurting and you will be even sorer in the morning.
This is what I suggest to ameliorate the issue.
I do all but 2 of these.  I don’t do neither the “relaxes Hamstrings, stretches calves, Achilles, and ankles” nor the Stretches the inner thigh, groin”; although maybe I should start.
I also throw in the cat stretch.  Doing all of this really doesn’t take much time.  I spend 15 minutes tops doing this. It’s a routine I have like shaving or drinking my morning Pepsi.  Do I skip some days?  Sure, just not at SDCC.
Now after 5 or 6 hours on the concrete walking around, I’ll take some private time and do some more stretching; maybe a minute or two. I find the cat stretch most beneficial for me.   After the sun has set and I’m sitting watching the Star Wars Awards or the Masquerade, the body tightens.  I try to work on my legs before getting up to catch the trolley home.
SDCC is a marathon and not a sprint.  You want to finish and feel good and not rue the day you decided to spend the week in San Diego.


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