I do not enjoy being sore. I was never into the Jane Fonda feel the burn thing, where if you didn’t ache miserably after a workout, you hadn’t done enough exercise.
I don’t become sore very often. I’m all about the stretching. I’ve watched my cats and dogs take stretching to a new art level for years now and figured that they must know something we humans don’t. So when I wake up every morning, I tried to stretch as a pet would, elongating my limbs with a feeling of satisfaction. It’s also a pretty nice way to start the day!
I also love, love, LOVE yoga. I love to stretch into downward dog or stork or triangle pose (at least as much as I can). Yoga doesn’t judge. It just says stretch and zone out and feel good about yourself. After a great yoga session, I feel limber and loose and ready to take on the world.
I remember one time, years ago, being so sore that I could barely move without crying. It was way back in 8th grade when I tried out for cheerleader. Now don’t think I thought I could actually be a cheerleader. It was a well-known fact that tons of girls at my school went out for cheerleader as a warm-up for drill team tryouts. Just getting to learn routines, seeing if you were in any way coordinated, hoping you could stay with the group—that was my goal.
So I went to the first after school session. It was about 2 hours long. We learned 4 different cheers—2 that I loved doing the motions, 1 that was so-so because the moves were a bit awkward, and 1 that was complicated but I got it! I could remember the steps when a lot of others couldn’t, so I had high hopes when drill team tryouts rolled around a couple of weeks later that I would do well.
But we also practiced jumps that afternoon, both before and after we learned the 4 cheers. All kinds of jumps. And yes, I could get maybe (and I’m not exaggerating here) four inches off the ground. I was not meant to soar through the air, leaping to new heights when a touchdown occurred. Yet I gamely jumped and jumped and jumped some more. Sure, I was pretty embarrassed at how I couldn’t get far off the ground, but being a cheerleader was never my final goal.
I went home, ravenous, and gobbled down a huge dinner after burning all those calories. I did my homework, showered, and climbed into bed.
The next morning when the alarm went off? I started to toss back the covers—and I could barely lift my arm. Then I actually had to attempt to get out of bed. AGONY! ABSOLUTE AGONY!!! Each step I took was more miserable than the previous one. I could barely walk without tears welling in my eyes. Once I got to school, climbing stairs was the most diabolical invention man had created (and my school had three stories—that’s a heckuva lotta stairs!).
Needless to say, I sucked it up at practice that afternoon. I wasn’t going to complain. But I ached with a soreness I’d never experienced.
A few days later, we tried out in pairs before judges. I did my cheer’s motions to perfection, and I hollered as loudly as I could. My jumps? Pitiful. I’m sure there had to be at least 1 person worse at jumps than me. Maybe. A big maybe…
Drill team tryouts happened two weeks after that, and I did catch on pretty quickly. Although I’d never had dance lessons, I could actually do the steps. I knew where to be on what count, and I made the squad for the upcoming year. But even all my years of dancing in drill team never saw me as sore as I was during cheer tryouts.
Fast-forward to today. As I said, I’m not sore very often—but I did plant spring flowers two days ago. Back sore? Check. Buttocks sore? Sure are. Calves sore? That’s a big 10-4. But my begonias and periwinkles bring such a nice color to my flowerbeds. So I’ll take a little good soreness…at least every now and then. And the only jumping I do now? In the stands at a football or basketball game, where my two inch jumps of joy are just fine.