Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 122, Admitting Defeat

Man, I just can't get these box splits. I've still got two inches to go and that's not going to be made up in the next three days, so I'm going to admit defeat right here. Sadly, I will not be doing this before the end of my Peak Condition Project.

I worked really hard to get this split ready in time for the end of my project but it just wasn't in the cards for me. Part of the problem was that the leg training and squats I do for muscle building are exactly opposite of what you'd want to do for splits training. Getting thick, shortened quads makes getting this split take forever.

Still, I'm not very happy about it. I've never spent so much time working on one pose and not gotten it. Box splits are pretty unforgiving. If just one hip abductor is tight or wonky the whole thing is a shambles. It's been pretty humbling.

But I also enjoy the challenge and tonight I ordered a new book about how to work with your nervous system to get the most out of your stretches. Here are some of the highlights from the table of contents:

  • How Kabat's PNF fools your stretch reflex
  • The function of the Renshaw cell
  • Taking advantage of the inverse stretch reflex
  • Shutdown threshold isometrics
  • Mastering the Golgi Reflex tendon
So fun times ahead for me. A lot of people express bewilderment that I spend so much time learning these relatively silly things. Like, who cares if you can do a box split? But these physical goals are kind of a hobby for me. Some people make model airplanes, some people play raquetball, and a depressing majority of people just crash in front of the TV at night. I choose to spend my hobby time working on my body, not in a narcissistic way, but just because it's so interesting to see what it can do. And I turn this knowledge around for my students as soon as I've gotten a decent handle on it. I believe that information should flow smoothly and that giving knowledge away is always better than trying to hoard it for a few coins. So I'll stick to my weird stretches.

But I don't expect anyone to understand. I personally don't get much out of making model airplanes, but I'm sure it gives some people a tremendous feeling of well being. Whatever works for you, as long as it doesn't harm others, go for it.


Dara said...

Yeah, it's impossible to train for a marathon and a 5k at the same time. What you pick up in endurance costs you in speed. Frustrating.

From the video you posted awhile ago, it seems that you got really close! I hope you continue inching your way into it.

Corry said...

Hey Patrick, sorry for your disappointment, I could feel it. I know you will do them though, I do. You are that kinda person that follows thru and that is so great. So keep on and lets celebrate when you get there! let us know your progress ok?