I don’t know what my hip is unhappy about, but it is talking to me a bit today. It could be the hiking, or the driving, or the crawling on hands and feet while stabilizing a load on my back, or the sitting while eating great food and drinking even better root beer with friends at Eddyline Restaurant, one of my new favorite places. The food definitely wasn’t the problem, but the prolonged sitting may not have helped.
Anyway, the point is that even though Sundays are typically a recovery day for me, it’s needed a bit more today. It’s not that my hip is killing me; it really doesn’t hurt much (2/10 if you want to know the answer to insurance’s favorite question). I have learned to pay attention to the little things, however. I know that rest today and gentle stretching will probably mean that I will be able to go back to normal activity tomorrow. If it’s still a little sore, I may not be able to go to the gym tomorrow, but I’ll substitute with other less aggravating activities. The pain is not that bad (it barely deserves the word, “pain”) and I could push through it, but why? I’m not training for anything in particular right now and a couple of days now is a lot better than a couple of weeks of getting it to calm down.
The only reason that I’m telling you any of this is that we tend to ignore these little pains. We figure that unless they become big pains, they are not worth our time and attention. I’m here to say that the little pains are your friends! Listen to them and listen well! They are there to tell you that there is a problem. If you address it while it’s small, it can head off the bigger, much more difficult problems. For me, I have some pinching in my hip (probably femoroacetabular impingement, or FAI, if you want to get technical). It is definitely an issue that can become a big problem, and I have not done as much stretching as I should in the last few weeks. So I see this as a friendly little pain to remind me to do a little more stretching and recovery.
I did come across this video the other day, and I love some of Kellen Milad’s stuff. It’s a great little active recovery sequence (though all the things with the feet held off the floor are NOT good for FAI, so if you have an issue like that, or a lot of hip flexor tightness, do what I did and skip those particular movements). Even though I couldn’t do the whole thing, what I could do was perfect for today.