In which I introduce my nemesis (Part 1 of 2)
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
The item pictured is an instrument of absolute torture, but there have been many times when I'd be lost without it. Yet, many of you won't know what the hell it is...
This innocuous looking orange foam cylinder, with its somewhat child-friendly appearance, should, at all times, be treated with the utmost suspicion and regard. It's most definitely not a toy and can inflict instant pain on whoever dares to tackle it. Yet thousands of people rely on this bit of kit to heal them; to help relieve aches and pains and bring them back to their best physical state.
I am, of course, talking about the "Foam Roller". A lightweight, cylindrical tube of compressed foam, used by sportsmen and physiotherapists alike to increase flexibility, reduce muscle soreness and eliminate knots. And, let me tell you from experience, it bloody kills. It's a sadistic tool cleverly disguised as a run for hamsters; a method of inflicting severe pain, whilst also being critical to an athlete's recovery.
Now, I'm not claiming to be any sort of athlete, but as you may have discovered from my previous posts, I do like to run. Over the last fortnight I have been suffering with extreme muscle tightness running from my bum cheeks, or to use the technical term "gluteus maximus", all the way down to may lower calves. It's agony! It turns a short, four mile run into a marathon.
After a quick morning run last week, I collapsed through the doorway, puffing and panting and cursing at, not only the pain, but also the damn inconvenience of having to stop/start/stop/start. I knew what the solution was, but I didn't want to acknowledge it. I was well aware that it was going to inflict severe pain. I'd been putting it off for weeks and I just couldn't avoid it any longer. Not if I wanted to complete some of the beautiful, but long scenic routes I'm lucky enough to enjoy in my local area.
The kids were both finally in bed and I had promised myself a nice relaxing bath afterwards with my new L'occitane lavender bath foam (a nice little present to myself). It was time to face the enemy. It's quite an undignified display really. You have to lay on the floor with the roller underneath your legs, rest one ankle over the other and then slide your legs over the roller, like a piece of meat travelling along a conveyor belt. At least, that's what I'm reminded of when the roller causes my thigh to spread to twice its original width, forcing me to doubt that second bar of dairy milk. The pain is unreal. A result of having the full weight of both legs pressing firmly down onto the roller. But the more pain you inflict on yourself, the better the results.
It's absolute agony as you inch over a knot in your hamstring, causing you to groan in pain. The whole rigmarole is utterly undignified. For some reason, I thought that it would be acceptable to do this in the same denim miniskirt that I'd been wearing all day; so I just hoicked it up around my waist, knickers exposed, enabling the entire leg to glide over the apparatus (I use the term "glide" loosely). Thank goodness the Husband was out at the time! I can just imagine the jibes I would have received, had he been there to witness this spectacle. In fact, the Daughter did appear at one point; a look of sheer bewilderment on her face. "Mummy? What are you doing?" she asked, her head cocked curiously to one side. "Trying to work out the sore muscles in my legs" I panted back at her. "It looks painful" she declared, mild concern momentarily crossing her face. "It is!" I responded through gritted teeth. "Oh okay" and seemingly satisfied with this explanation, she headed off upstairs.
To my surprise, an Amazon package appeared in our porch today addressed to the Husband (this was a huge event, as they're almost always for me). "Ahh, you'll like this" he says, unwrapping it in a frenzy of excitement. "This will be good for both you and me!" He lifts it from its bubble-wrap cocoon and I gasp in horror...
Look out for Part 2 to find out just what he'd ordered...
Did you know what the picture was? Have you any experience with it? Let me know in the comments below.
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