One of the things I’ve come to neglect in training is…drum roll please…stretching. I have never been flexible. Ever. In school, for the President’s Physical Fitness Test, the stupid straight leg stretch would consistently pull my score down. My toes and I aren’t super familiar, and my hamstrings are tighter than Guantanamo Bay.
Honestly, I thought stretching wasn’t super important. I’d rather just run, swim, and bike faster. Wrong. So so wrong. I’m (unfortunately) the type of person who has to learn things on their own. I can have the world’s experts spoon-feeding me the most accurate advice, but I still have to stubbornly hit my head against the wall until I figure it out myself. It’s a character flaw and has limited me in a lot of aspects of my life. I can’t tell if it’s cynicism, distrust, or just plain ignorance, but I’m constantly learning things the hard way.
That being said, I’m (finally) starting to realize how important stretching is! My hip flexors, oh my. They are tighter than my grandmother clutching her pearls. They’re tighter than the current Clinton-Trump polling. They’re tighter than Kim Kardashian’s dress. That. Tight. (How many similes can I use for “tight??”) And frankly, I’m realizing it’s been limiting my running capability. My stride is significantly shorter before stretching than after. It’s incredible. Now I know that’s not rocket science by any means, and that literally everyone else has figured this out by now, but let’s just put it down to being a slow learner.
I’ve recently started putting emphasis on taking time to stretch after my workouts, and it has actually been helping! I’m used to normally running off immediately after a workout to do something else, be it grocery shopping, eating, or getting to work. But, by dedicating 10-15 minutes to simple stretches, I’ve been able to open up my hip flexors more, and start elongating my hamstrings (that project is going to take a longgg time).
Honestly, so much pain.I mean, look how tight my hip flexors are!I look super serious here but I was just desperately trying to hold on to my toes
Anyways, this has been your friendly PSA (mainly for myself) to take time to stretch!