In My Mind I Dance Like a Swan — And Am Super Flexible

Well, at least I know where all the flexibility and coordination went in my family…

actually it’s never been a secret. So I spent the night watching my little sis’s dance show and while I may be biased, I’ll say she’s the bestest one out there. :) (pix from tonight are being stupid and not working at the moment…sorry)

I have always had that little girlie part of me lurking away any time ice skating or gymnastics is on; that part that sorta wished I had even one fiber of grace and the ability to do all those flippy things. Dance performances can pull that part out sometimes, but I know my place…I’ll cheer and live vicariously through the sis.

Running makes you tighter, combine that with my mom’s DNA and we have my situation…I’ve never once, not once, touched my toes while keeping my legs straight. I use the excuse that since I’m all legs my arms proportionately never stood a chance.

Excuses aside, I have been doing a little better in my pledge to do at least SOME stretching. I may not ever do splits while conscious but neglecting the problem is certainly doing me no favors and was like letting it fester. Reasons not to fester: increased chances of injury, limiting range of motion, poor form, by the time I’m 30 I’ll need a walker…

If you’re like me and don’t like to stretch or say you don’t have time, I’ll call you out, I did it to myself and here are some sneaky ways to get your stretch on: (PS-rembember it’s counterproductive to stretch cold muscles, so only do so after you’ve warmed up…mmmmk)

audrey hepburn

Let's cut to Audrey in Funny Face, shall we?

*Dynamic leg swings: if you only have a second, I’d pick these. Hold onto a pole, swing your left leg front to back, gradually getting higher each time. Repeat with right leg. Then do lateral leg swings, so across your torso. Do a few sets of 10.

*Covert stretch: make fun of me, but when I’m waiting to micro up something, I’ll use the minutes to alternate between some easy stretches. My hip flexors and psoas muscles are tight from my elliptical sessions. And people, you can use TV time to do a little you know what.

*Do it sweaty: really, I know there is no excuse to give a minute or two to stretching after my runs/core. I’m already nasty and lying on the floor won’t make me dirtier. The thing is, doing little bits at a time is actually better than planning on doing a huge chunk once a week. The time adds up, and how many people actually then stick to that ‘planned’ stretching time?

So while I’ll never do an Arabian back-whatever, I know I can muster a few leg swings…eh?

1) Are you good with stretching?

2) Have you ever done the splits?

3) Have you ever been a gymnast, dancer, ice skater…or the like?
I actually used to tap dance and that I wasn’t horrendous at.

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11 thoughts on “In My Mind I Dance Like a Swan — And Am Super Flexible

  1. Since I did other team sports before running, I’ve always been in the habit of stretching after runs. Not to say I’m actually flexible, but I do always spend a couple of minute on it.
    Hidden secret – I used to teach hip hop. DO NOT JUDGE ME. I love to dance!

  2. I can touch my toes with my legs straight. Other than that…I’m 100% with you on the stiff runner’s legs with 0% coordination. I do stretch after most runs. I have to say, it is something I’ve really grown to love. Previously to developing this habit….things were pretty ugly. :)

    • wow, well touching ur toes puts u at least ahead of me! hehe…ya, i shudder to think just how bad it would be if i didn’t do at least the amount i am doing!! keep it up and maybe those splits will happen one day? ;)

  3. I try to stretch as often as possible, but the last few months I’ve been terrible at it. After my fall marathon everything hurt and felt different then normal where stretching was uncomfortable so I have been avoiding it. Trying to refocus here, but there’s always an excuese.

    As for the splits, can’t do em. However there was this one time while I was skiing in Vail and fell, while I was sliding down the mountain my back ski got clipped behind me on something and my front leg spun around forcing my legs into a full splits. It hurt something terrible and I actually thought that I pulled my groin, but turns out I didn’t and my muscles just weren’t meant to move that way!

    • omg u did the forced splits!! i’m so glad u didn’t come away from that one torn in two or with a torn groin!!

      ya, avoidance is one of my ‘oops i forgot’ tactics…i try to remind myself that that excuse doesn’t cut it…lol.

  4. hahaha funny thing, before I was a runner I was a hardcore ballerina. I was inches away from going to the Julliard School instead of college! thank god I chose college?? haha. So I am indeed much more flexible than the average person and average runner….but I do still stretch after every run. Idk once a dancer always a dancer…I like to stretch haha :-)

    • psshh, ya, u don’t count!!! hahaha….jusst kidding! ya, i would think the insane amount of awesomeness u possess in the dance world would mean u are as bendy as gumby compared to all us tight runners who count itching our knees a decent stretch. ;)

  5. Pingback: Piecing Together the ‘Perfect’ Runner |

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