I got a massage last week. I’d been looking forward to it this time especially because I hoped the therapist could help calm down the leg muscles that kept pulling on my hurt ankle. I’d been trying to rub the muscles into submission myself, but there’s only so much I know how to do.
She did indeed do a lot of work that helped my body feel better. But I think the most important thing I got out of the experience was a realization that I had been stressing. A lot.
I stressed that I was injured and had to cancel a backpacking trip. I stressed about being ready for the next backpacking trip – the one to go and view the eclipse that I’d been planning for years. And I had the normal stresses of work.
What I didn’t have was my normal method of stress release, namely, vigorous exercise of the backpacking and Crossfit varieties preferably. I was being cautious, perhaps excessively cautious, about working the hurt ankle. I wanted it to heal in time for the eclipse trip so much. Just heal the heck up and let me hike.
I realized that I need to have a game plan for the next time I can’t use vigorous exercise for stress relief for whatever reason (hopefully not injury again). I don’t really know what that plan is going to look like, but even just acknowledging what I was doing to my body, especially my muscles, helped. After the massage I was more conscious of not tensing up because of stress.
Not sure what I’ll come up with, but I’m going to figure something out, because I really don’t like the way I feel when I’m stressed.