Friday, March 25, 2011

A Theory

I finished my most recent backpacking trip feeling not good but better than good. I never feel muscle soreness but normally I feel stiff and my knees ache. Not this time.

We increased our mileage on the second day which gave us a short third day and an even shorter last day. When we got back to the car I was surprised by our speed. I felt better than I've ever felt after a climb out of the canyon.

Preparation for the trip doesn't offer an explanation. I did not do anything to prepare. I walked as much as is normal and wore a forty pounds weight vest only occasionally. No hill climbs, no stairs, no weight training, nothing special.

Part of the explanation has to relate to new trekking poles. A few weeks ago I bought a pair that are a little on the heavy side but are strong. I made a conscious effort to use them to relieve the stress on my knees especially on the long steep down hills. This helped but doesn't fully explain the difference.

Here's my theory.

Julie stretches every morning and has done so for the last few years. She has books and videos on yoga. I sometimes watch her and wonder how she can do some of the stretches. Months ago I tried some and failed matching her movements by several inches. I enjoyed the experience so I started stretching daily. After several months I could do a few of the things that she does regularly. More time passed and some of the stretches seemed easy so I started trying variations that are more challenging. I glanced through her yoga books with the intention of selecting new stretches.

Daily stretching! I think this is what made the difference.


Blogger Buffalo said...

Stretching does make a huge difference.

3/27/2011 09:42:00 PM  

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