Oh I know we’ve all heard that expression before: So and so is a pain in my butt. I’ve never really understood the origin of that statement and quite frankly if it is what I think it is, I’d rather be ignorant. However, this pain in my butt is not a person that is annoying me but actual pain. In my butt. Oooouuuch. This is a muscle pain and it’s been going on for years. Why you ask ? Because for some unknown, unfathomable, unreasonable, unconscionable reason I refuse to take care of myself. I am my own worst pain in the butt.
This started several years ago. A gradual decline in physical activity followed by weight gain and then a feverish attempt to get things under control. All the while I am subconsciously loosening my personal standards to allow for that stubborn 10 that for some reason I just can’t lose. Well golly gee ? Let’s look at that shall we ? Then we will identify the source of the pain in my butt once and for all. What do you mean you can’t half heartedly try to lose weight putting in minimal effort to stay physically fit all the while deluding yourself about the tons of sugar you eat and expecting FANTASTIC results with no pain in your butt ? You mean all those 2am infomercials are wrong ? Damn.
The result of this long-standing delusion and let’s face it, complete departure from reality, is that now I’m 30lbs over weight, out of shape and beginning to experience some ramifications from my actions or lack thereof. The most pressing resulted from my efforts at exercise and the excitement of using Reebox Retones for my power walking. More results with the same effort ? Sign me up !! But not so fast young lady, says my unhappy hamstring, I believe you need a pain in your butt for your efforts. And so for the past six months I have lived with a spasming hamstring that will literally have me gasping for air and grabbing my leg like I’ve been stung by a bee.
Enter my friend’s boyfriend. The boyfriend I have known since grade 4 (or so) who is now dating my friend that I have known since grade 7 (confirmed). The boyfriend who is a registered RMT and is training to be an Osteopath. This is one of several fields of complimentary medicine that I have tried but one of the few I give full kudos to. I’ve had nothing but great results visiting an Osteopath and recommend it highly. Why haven’t I gone before now ? Well that would involve me being proactive about my health versus taking care of everybody else ! That would involve me having to make time for me ! That would involve having to admit that I am completely out of shape and the creator of my own dismal health situation. Who the heck wants to volunteer for that I ask you ?
The boyfriend offers to have a look at my leg. He starts taking a medical history, etc. and pushes on an area of my leg known is the iliotibial band. This little monster runs down the side of your leg from your butt to your knee. And he touched it. With one finger. Lightly. And I jumped like that damn bee had grown a new stinger and shown up again. Now I was in physio for almost a year for a case of Epicondylitis (golfers elbow in my left arm though I am right handed and don’t play golf) which had manifested as a Tardy Ulnar Palsy (which is shooting pains from said elbow down my arm and out my little finger – not cool when your job involves typing …). Through this therapy it was determined that I had this Iliotibial Band Syndrome but all I was told was that I needed to stretch. Whoopee. I was already doing that. Other than some discomfort, I didn’t really understand the underlying issue and so I didn’t pay attention. Shocking I know.
What this is a symptom of is overall neglect. This was evidenced throughout my assessment and treatment by the boyfriend. Now this part is my experience and is not experienced by everybody. The boyfriend was also trying to get me going and do some deep tissue work so please don’t be scared off of trying an Osteopath. It really is fabulous. Anyway – for the next hour or so I alternated between laughing hysterically (it can tickle) and laughing hysterically (it really freaking hurt). Hence the pain in my butt. And my thighs. And my calves. And my lower back. I am knotted up better than Houdini. Knots down my spine pulling my vertebrae out of alignment. Knots in my thigh muscles pulling my pelvis out. Knots in my calves affecting the way I walked. I even have knots on either side of my jaw from clenching and stress. Oh mylanta a Girl Guide couldn’t make better knots than I sport.
However, after all this hysteria I felt so much better. Tons better. Looser and easier to walk. Lighter even – mentally not physically unfortunately. This morning I did my morning yoga routine and extra stretches. Today I was able to skate for over an hour and could have gone longer if my children hadn’t called the game on account of cold feet. As I sit and type this I can feel things tightening up again and so I know I must pay homage to St. Jude and stretch out my hopeless case of a body. I’ll not let all the pain be for nought.
In the end, it all comes down to a butt. Or a but. But what if I don’t want to ? But what if I get hurt ? But what if they find out that I’m a big, mushy, pasty white marshmallow ? But what if I find out that I really can take charge of my health ? Damn. That will mean I will have to actually take this seriously and make it happen. That will mean I might actually get in to decent shape for the first time in a long time. That might mean that the only pain in my butt will be from my husband giving it a cheeky pinch. Pun intended.