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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Self-torture: getting out the neck and shoulder pain

Oh!  The soreness!  

Yes, it's wimpy, but the pool was closed and I was unable to swim for eleven days (shoot me now).  Yesterday I was back in the pool getting a chlorine fix (not kidding, I didn't soap my skin so I could sniff that stuff to full potential all day long; swimmers, you know what I'm talking about) and I was so excited, I went ballistic.  It was a distance day, which is great as I'm training for a distance swim, but if you're a swimmer, you know that being out of the pool for more than three days makes you feel like you forgot how to swim entirely and that the water has converted into a special form of molasses, which extrapolated its intensity during the six minute swim.  Oh, joy.  It also helps when the last set called is an all out one, since you've spent it and burned it up already since you thought you were done (who even calls crap like that!).  But, alas, you cannot back down, because you see people next to you going off the wall doing butterfly, so you push through, grinding your teeth and squinting your eyes, making faces underwater and hoping nobody will much notice.

And then you get out and go home.  And die.

(After you eat 3 breakfasts.  Duh.  Hello, fresh eggs from my favorite chicken, I love you.)

And then you sleep weird and your neck feels like you must have been in a secret car accident that nobody told you about, so you are doubly awesomesauced.  

What to do in a situation like this?

(I know.  It's SUPER common!  I'm here to help, what can I say.)

You have a few options:
1) Drink a bunch of ice wine and you will be able to ignore the neck pain for a few hours.

2) Go to the chiropractor.
3) Get a massage.
4) Massage yourself with special elements of torture.

Let's explore the pluses and minuses of each option.

Option 1: Ice Wine Fix
This is probably the best tasting option of them all, with massage following closely behind for slot 2 (that's it's own kind of delicious).  However, my ice wine hookup involves whenever people I know go to Canada and go get some and bring it back, which means you have to rely on other people traveling to yonder lands.  It is also expensive, with the whole "one grape only gives one drop of wine" and people harvesting it at midnight by hand thing going on.  It's really kind of snobby and posh, but due to the high demand and low availability, this option falls into a category of less than practical.  Sad.  And also, you (and by you, I mean "I") could potentially become an alcoholic.  (But seriously, if you're going to Canada anytime soon, you better bring me some.)

Option 2: The Chiro Solution
This is a good option, but depending on the chiro, there is a temptation for them to keep telling you to come back next week, which means that you are cutting time out of your schedule and money out of your pocket.  When you're really messed up, you need to suck it up and do it.  But really, I don't think you ought to be a once a week-er, unless you really were in a car accident (and that only for a time).  If you are in severe acute pain, you should just go do it. I have had myraids of times where I could not turn my head or walk (I do all my own stunts), and I went in there and was fixed up in fifteen minutes.  The problem arises when you moderately screw yourself up on a regular basis and don't want your husband to know that you went a little crazy because then he'll be all like, "You are pushing it too hard, you need to stay home and rest." (Which is the only thing that makes your rage level hit one thousand because HELLO, you should never rest.  And are you telling me what to do?)  Being that he notices the outflow of cash, he'll pick up on your antics if you're going to the chiro every week and kabosh it in two seconds.  So keep this card in your back pocket for emergencies only, like when you literally cannot walk without tears falling down your stone-cold face.

Option 3:  The Way of the Massage
Everyone knows that this is an amazing option.  You cannot argue one bad thing against it, except for the fact that it is ridiculously expensive, and if you're debating whether to get a massage or feed your children organic chicken, I have to go with the organic chicken every.single.time.  (#firstworldproblems)  The last massage I got left me half conscious, drooling, underneath the magic hands (and feet, it was ashiatsu) of my famous masseuse friend, Kelli B.  I don't know how I drove home.  Not even kidding.  It was a new form of a drunk coma.  I opened the windows and tried to drink water to keep myself alert enough to make it without running over all the everything in the way.  I think I was successful.  (Maybe that's when I got into a secret car accident.  Huh.  Interesting.)  Anyway, if you've got cash to burn, take this option.  If you're cheap, go with #4.

Option 4:  Inflicting Pain Upon Yourself With Specially Designed Objects of Torture
This is the option for when you need relief now, you want it without paying for it, and you are desirous of hearing yourself make that laugh-cry pain of pure joy.  You know what I mean, right?  When you are so sore, that you need to get the pressure on it, but by doing so, you feel simultaneously pleasure and torture at intensity level 99 exploding out of your muscle(s).  It's pretty much the best thing ever, but it causes you to laugh, hyperventilate, and cry all at the same time.  I choose this option on a regular basis.

But what instruments of torture to use for such a special occasion?  I have two that seem to do the trick.  The first is the original Backnobber.  If you've got a spot next to your shoulder blade that JUST NOBODY CAN FIND, but dear sweet glory, you wish someone could elbow it in vicious punishment for you, but they CAN'T, this is the tool for you.  Have you seen it?  It's this S-shaped ditty that you can put right into that pain spot, and pull forward at whatever pain level is suitable for you (ranging from eyes closed and smiling to blood involuntarily squirting out of your eyes).  You pick. You can keep it in the car, it is light, travels easily.  So nice!  

The other is the Rumble Roller.  It's this foam tube covered in nobby glory.  There are smooth (and less expensive) foam rollers, and they have their place, but if you want involuntary tears, you need the Rumble Roller.  With this, you can put it on the ground and roll out your legs, back, neck, armpits, whatever.  Your body weight dictates the pressure, which seems to be just about right for torture level awesome.  Just this very morning I was rolling around torturing every large muscle group on my body.  Pure awesome torture right at your fingertips.  What more could you want?  I know, a massage.  I meant for free.

So if you've got some muscle soreness and you want to whimper like a baby girl, I recommend the instruments of torture.  After they're purchased, they're free for your continual and perpetual use.  Yay.  Pass me a sip of your ice wine while you're at it, would you?  Thanks, you're a dear.

Peace, love, and roll with it,
Ms. Daisy

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