Day 8.6 – On Muscle Memorization

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The Banana

I’m one of those people who had the “good ole days” of high school and more than that my “glory days” were also in high school. Why? Well, because I played a lot of sports. Basketball, softball, volleyball, rugby and netball all kept me busy throughout my school year. During my regular basketball season I would usually wind up with 3-5 hours worth of cardio exercise squeezed in here, there and everywhere. On a good day I would wind up working out for up to 7 hours. I was so in shape and actually so flexible that I could…bend over backwards!

(I’m the one on the far right)

However, now I’m going on 25 years old and all of those shenanigans are things of my past. I’m no where near as fit as I was in high school and I’d be surprised if I ever got back to that level of fitness. I mean, by my senior year I was living by a Lute Olsen basketball video that said a good post player should be able to run a mile a day…which I did happily, but now that I prefer to think of round as a shape, that mile long run is not going to happen any time soon.

I am happy to report that I am slowly forcing myself back into shape. I’ve banned the idea of “round is a shape” from my mind and I’m attempting to work out on a consistent basis though my work outs are different from the ones I did back in high school. They are slower, more controlled and involve more pain than I remember going through as a teenager. The pain is a given in my mind, however, because since high school I’ve dislocated my right shoulder twice, tore up the ligaments in my right knee and all around damaged and destroyed my body to the point where I can almost feel the rain in my bones now.

The thing that really amuses me though is the fact that my body still remembers how to do everything to an extent. It’s amazing how all the muscle memorization exercises that I put myself through have paid off through out the years. Here, check out the upsides of my muscles instinctively knowing how to do somethings even though I may not mentally be all there through out my growing up years:

High school: No matter how tired I got in high school, I always had perfect form on my foul shot. Not only that, but I could close my eyes while standing on the foul line and consistently sink 6/10 foul shots with my eyes either closed or blindfolded. Yes, I tested this out a number of times just to see if I could do it. I didn’t have much of a life in high school, but whatever I gave a new meaning to “taking a shot in the dark” in my  teenage mind and that was cool enough.

First and Second Years of University: I could do it drunk! It’s not my proudest admission, but there are a couple of instances in my university years where I had a few too many drinks, would get suckered into playing strip something or ruther and would eventually con some over eager guy into playing strip basketball with me. Not only could I make a great foul shot with my eyes closed, but my I had trained my body so well in high school that I could play basketball or basketball shooting games while completely drunk of my ass and actually look sober doing it.

My Early Early Twenties: At this point my parlour tricks of shooting foul shots blindfolded and playing basketball drunk had gotten old. But for intramural and drop in basketball, being able to play basketball with a decent amount of basketball intelligence and not being a total klutz was awesome. In fact, I made a little bit of money off of it in a few cases. For those of you who have seen “White Men Can’t Jump” know how the hustle works. I’d show up at a gym, get onto a pick up team and everyone would whine about having “the girl” on their team…so people would toss some money around and then “Oh snap!” I was actually really good and I’d make a little bit of money for all my troubles. Plus at this point I was still flexible enough that I could bend over backwards and do some other bendy things and I wound up meeting a few men who thought a girl who would literally bend over backwards for them was darn neat.

Image from stacktv.stack.com/Football/Darren-Sharper-Workout/Darren-Sharper-Ladder-Drill-1.html

Present Day Twenties: I’m grossly out of shape. Unless you count round as a shape…then I am very muchly in shape! However, I am banning that way of thinking from my mind, so I’m sticking with the fact that I am grossly out of shape and trying to fix that. I can no longer bend over backwards, but you know what? My body still remembers how to do somethings really well despite the fact that I’ve packed on more pounds than anyone should ever pack on, I’m still somewhat bendy. That and my body is much happier jogging up and down a court dribbling a basketball than it is running on a treadmill. Slowly as I push myself to get into shape, my body is remembering what it feels like to run hard, jump high and do all sorts of other things that I get sore doing…or even just thinking about. I find myself running harder than I had originally planned. I also find myself laughing because I’ve also taken a couple of Zumba classes and in those classes I look like a total fool because I’m a total klutz and can’t seem to wiggle my hips while moving to music even though I can easily work through some old ladder exercises that I have.

My body remembering how to do all the old things that I used to do on a daily basis has been my saving grace in getting back into shape. I honestly think that if I had relearn how to run, jump and move as an athlete I would give up faster than I can say “round is a shape”. Thankfully that’s not the case and all that’s left to do is to get back into shape and try not to giggle as my extra pounds on my butt bounce and jiggle as I work out.

In all seriousness, when I run, jump or walk quickly, I can feel my butt moving. It feels like I have jello stored in my shorts or something.

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