Today is the 15th of January: Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, my sister-in-law’s birthday, that cute boy from long ago, John LeGassic’s birthday. All fabulous, wonderful people I admire. All reasons to celebrate.
I am not sure that my 100’s challenge is such a reason to celebrate, but I am pretty proud of myself. Certainly I am not creating change in the world, but I am coming up against obstacles and taking time to try to figure them out.
Because I had 15 sets of 100 to do, I decided to divide them into three groupings of 500. It turns out 500 isn’t such a problem for me to do in a small bit of time. I spend (I will time this and give you a more accurate picture later) about 20 minutes to do 5 sets of the 100’s. I do the hundred one way (e.g. on the reformer), then I’ll do some other exercises trying to move my body in a variety of ways, do a different version of the 100 (e.g. on a foam roller), and then some other exercises. That way I am spacing out the repetitive motions in my body.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is if I am intensely contracting my core, more and more throughout the day, I will want to make sure that I am trying to also completely relax it (and surfaces muscles) throughout the day as well, to avoid fatigue and spasms. The more I exercise, the more I need to also thoroughly, deeply release. So for my last 500, instead of doing other exercises between sets, I did all five sets on the foam roller, and inbetween sets, I just let myself breathe and soften over the roller. I let my neck completely relax. I let my pelvic floor (sorry guys) hang out in the basement.
Then each time I went back into the 100’s, I first visualized my core working. I imagined my core starting at my knees, drawing up my thigh bones, through my body up the front of my spine and then up the inside of my head and out the top of it. I visualized the core being cradled by the strong back muscles starting at the back of my skull, down the outside of my spine, the back of my legs and out. The upward lift of my core being supported by the downward contraction of my back. I can imagine it. I can feel it. This sensation seems to be facilitated and strengthened if I make sure to pump my arms a full 6 to 8 ” in a strong, precise way, moving from my posterior deltoids and not collapsing the front of my shoulders inward. The shoulders feel wide, open and supportive, the arms pumping feel strong. If I push them too far away, I feel strain in the neck, so I’ve been keeping them long but not overdoing it.
I am so “feeling it” most, strangely enough, in my knees. I think I have been over-locking them to hold an extended leg position. I am going to spend the next few days in very bent knee positions for my hundreds. I don’t need a knee problem. Who does?