At CrossFit, I’ve heard of this phenomenon wherein when one performs a squat, at the bottom, there’s this kind of springy moment. Supposedly, the knees reach a point where they naturally rebound a bit, which helps one get back up while holding large amounts of weight.
For a long time, I thought that was a cruel joke, or another one of those things that are experienced by “real” athletes and not me. Because whenever I went down in a squat, my knees would collapse inward and require Herculean efforts on my part simply to keep from crashing together. They hindered my ability to push back to standing. They didn’t help.
For a long time I thought it was a myth.
But then I started focusing on keeping my knees from collapsing not just when I was actively trying to do squats, but when I stood and walked and hiked.
And the other day, when I was doing landmine squats, showing off on the only apparatus that my husband and I both do that I lift more weight on, I felt it.
At the bottom of my squat my knees felt … springy.
I squatted down and it felt natural to push back up.
My knees were no longer collapsing inward, and it surprised me, because I’d thought that that was what they naturally did and would continue to do. Even though I’d been working on keeping them from collapsing, I didn’t believe that my mechanics would actually change.
And, to be honest, I’d forgotten all about the bounce that I might experience once my mechanics changed. I wasn’t thinking about it, wasn’t looking for it. It just happened.
Kind of like my increase in running speed, which was a surprise, because I’d just about given up on ever running much faster.
I guess I’ll have to stop having such low expectations for myself.