How’s Your Hind Leg?

Wynonna Judd, May 24, 2004

I think Wynonna is a Kapha, like me.

It took me almost two years, but this week I proved the theory that practicing yoga on a moon day may cause injury.  Okay, so it was the day after a new moon but it was probably still a new moon in Hawaii or somewhere.  What was that I was saying about my kaphaesque self always being one day shy of a new moon? No, that’s not a typo.  While I’ve been called Kafkaesque a few times in my life, this time I really do mean Kaphaesque. I’ll call it a blend of the two defined by bizarre slowness and illogical steadiness but in a calm and thoughtful kind of way?

So this past Tuesday, I was in prasarita padottanasansa C and heard a snap and a pop (no crackle, that’s reserved for my knees) coming from the area where my hamstrings attach to my butt.  I never did well in anatomy but I’d say it’s the top of the semitendinosaurus. I took it easy in the remaining postures and discovered that I was fine in all forward folds except for those that required a wide stance.  Hopefully I will not be pulled over in any traffic stops where they say “spread ’em!” because I don’t know if I could.

Thankfully my stroll and stride were totally unaffected so I could still make my daily jaunt to MARTA.  And even better, there’s no pain as I go about my daily activities such as sitting at my desk for 8 hours a day.  This is good because if I were really in pain or if my gait was obviously disturbed, I would have had to make up some Kafkaesque story about how I pulled my hamstring (because I certainly couldn’t admit that I did it in yoga).  It would have to be something like:

  • I was training for the Publix St. Patrick’s Day marathon and fell into one of Atlanta’s famous potholes during my 18th mile,
  • I was cleaning my elderly neighbor’s gutters and almost fell from the roof but saved myself by dangling from the top rung of the ladder by my left leg, or
  • I was helping Wynonna Judd prepare for Dancing with the Stars and pulled it as I showed her the Tango (I think Wynonna may be a Kapha?).

Anyway, the last time I remember that hamstring snapping sound was in about 9th grade when, during basketball practice, I got pantsed in front of the boy’s football team.  I reached down to my ankles to grab my gym shorts so fast that if there had been iPod video’s back then, you’d have had to put it on super slow motion to even know it happened.  I’m sure it’s the same hamstring that’s causing me grief now and it’s good to know I can trace the origins.

So like a good life-long athlete, I did the “RICE” thing of rest, ice, compression and elevation as follows:

  • rest: I skipped yoga and slept in the next two mornings
  • ice: I sat on a bag of frozen salmon filets (don’t tell Doc B ‘cause we’ve since eaten them)
  • compression: I wore my tightest jeans whenever possible for the past week, and
  • elevation: I put my feet up on my desk at work whenever the boss wasn’t looking.

Then I read about “MEAT” – movement, exercise, analgesics and treatments and wondered what the heck I was really supposed to do?  RICE?  MEAT?  Since I couldn’t find any oxycontin, I stuck with the RICE plan and ate some MEATloaf instead.

The best part about being injured is all of the sympathy and attention I get from others.  And the best part of that attention was when Doc B called me at work to see how I was doing and to cheer me up with one of my grandfather’s favorite sayings: “how’s your hind leg?”

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