True Confessions

Last week I did a very bad thing. I didn’t mean to, but looking back, I am glad as I learned something very important.

Black and white photo shows cat at laptop with a Zoom meeting of cats. Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

The bad thing: I was working on a major document that required validation. It’s a very useful process whereby someone very skilled reviews your document and makes sure everything follows logically. However, I ended up sitting at my desk for pretty much the whole afternoon.

The thing I learned: when you sit for too long at my age (well any age really, but at my age, it is exceptionally bad), your muscles tighten, and when they tighten they pull at your bones. If you have a hypermobile hip joint like mine, tight muscles from sitting for too long without stretching result in very unhappy joints because they get pulled out of their rightful place, usually silently, often resentfully, and later, painfully.

Image shows white cat howling, a pretty accurate description of how I felt after sitting too long. Photo by Carlos Deleon on Unsplash

It’s been a while since I’ve done something this stunned to myself, but now I know. Previously my hips joints have sloughed off their restrictive socket layers when I have stepped into sinky snowbanks, leapt gazelle-like down uneven steps, or even turned over the wrong way in my sleep.

This Learning Moment (LM) reminded me how easy it is to forget everything when I am in the writing zone: food, drink, movement, conversation etc.

Luckily, there is a remedy. I have started setting alarms — chirpy buzzes, whimsical little tunes, exuberant and energetic rock songs — to remind me to get up and do one of my required exercises. (I have a whole slew of them. I can do them standing up, lying down, and yes, even while sitting in a chair. I know how many reps, how many sets, and how many seconds for each one.)

While I am working on paying attention more mindfully to my body cues, I have found the audio cues work better at interrupting my head space and since I have to shut them off using my phone, I have also renamed the labels on the alarms with the names of the key stretches I am required to complete.

I do feel a little like a jack in the box when the alarms go off; however, I can’t deny they have been helping. Perhaps in a month, the habit will be ingrained but until then, I’ll have an ear open for my alarms ready to put those hip flexors back where they belong.

— MarthaFitat55 is looking forward to the summer.

One thought on “True Confessions

  1. Great reminder post for all of us, the women who sit too much. I also use my phone for audio alarms. I use the pomodoro app to remind me to get up every 25 minutes (you can set it for any time intervals you want). I use the 5-minute breaks for some stretching, a housekeeping micro-task or getting a snack/tea. I hope your hips get happier soon!

Comments are closed.