Monday, December 12, 2011

It's A Matter Of Balance

Life is composed of so many choices that have long term effects on who we are. Sometimes it seems like we have to specialize so much in one area to stand out from the crowd. Eventually, the repetition of performing whatever it is you do will get anyone out of balance. Spend your whole life studying one subject and you'll probably lack skills in other fields. Spend enough time doing one activity and your body will find its way right into imbalance. Imbalances create stress and eventually pain, be it physically or from social awkwardness.

We all wish we were talented and stand outs at everything. As it turns out, that is impossible. It takes specializing to create talent. Specializing creates imbalances though. The answer to this dilemma? Don't ask me... but I have chosen to obliterate my previous goals of specialization. 20 years of bike racing left my body with very specific issues that will effect all cyclists that don't work hard to counteract the imbalances created by the sport. Just to name the big ones: tight neck extensors, weak neck flexors, tight upper trapezius, weak rhomboids and mid and lower trapezius, tight erector spinae muscles, weak abdominal muscles (transverse and obliques), tight hip flexors and adductors, weak gluteus medius, maximus (my ass) and abductors, weak tibialis anterior muscles and tight gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.

Yup, I just nerded out. As it turns out, these imbalances are really common for a majority of everyone out there since we sit so damn much. Some muscles are just more prone to tightening than others too since certain muscles are posture muscles and others more explosive, power muscles (tonic vs phasic muscles).

To fix all those imbalances, the gym is my new best friend. Oh and don't forget the foam roller. And then there's my new found love of the "old man" positioning on the road bike. I said it, full on "old man" positioning is my new gig. "Old man" positioning by my yesteryear standards anyway.

All told, it's starting to work in my favor. Special thanks to some of the trainers at Axiom for some great tips!

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