Bone Saw Calf Smash

Just for fun, I’ve taught a self-massage technique that Kelly Starrett, Doctor of Physical Therapy, shows frequently. I’ve used it sporadically on myself in the past. But I have an amazing testimony to tell.

Truth be told, I wake up in the morning and hobble to the bathroom first thing. I gingerly walk down the stairs and then achingly walk my dogs. I was a runner since my first 5K race in the 6th grade. A decades worth of ultra-marathoning in my 40’s eventually led me to completely stop my running career. My injury was actually from doing Adult Gymnastics and not the running. But that’s another story. Every year, I try to resurrect my running only to be hobbled again by my left calf muscle. What I’ve learned is flat concrete is the worst for it, while I have very little trouble when I run trails. So through avoidance, I’ve managed a few miles here and there, but not without linger morning hobbles. In fact, I’ve noticed it more in past months than ever before.

Just on a whim, I taught this calf bone smash in an impromptu beginner’s yoga class that I was asked to teach in the last minute. I often project on my students what I’m feeling at the time, and my calf happened to be in pain. Its also good for poses like downward facing dog, chair pose, and warriors to have open calves. I taught it a few more times since then in other classes.

When I demonstrate this pose, I don’t stop. I turn away from the class and show them how to do it for the minute or so as we do both sides. I did it last night too. This morning I woke up and guess what? No hobbles. No pain. I’m totally ecstatic. If any of you feel chronic pain, it doesn’t have to feel that way.

Also, as a practitioner of Thai yoga massage, my self-experimentations give me extreme gratification that I can help others too. Not only can I use this in my therapy, I can teach people how to heal themselves. I often give people homework for their ailments so they don’t need to see me as often.

Whether you or someone you know have calf pain, try this out and share with others. Its an amazing tool for healing.

I Haven’t Changed

I’ve posted throwback pics of myself in recent times and its funny to read the comments. I ask "where has that young man gone?" And the reply is, "he’s still inside of you". Well, I initially pass that off as cliche. Then I think, yes that is surely true. I’m the same man I was when I was 20 or 30. He’s still inside of me.

This becomes very true when I’m acting silly. A song comes on that makes my booty shake and that’s what I do. I run up and down the stairs at home like I’m 10 years old. I sing at the top of my lungs while driving my car with the music as loud as my speakers can keep their quality. I wear funny things around the house. Nothing has changed.

And, more importantly, I haven’t changed at my core. All silliness aside, I still have the same character that my parents instilled in me. I learned right from wrong, sometimes the hard way. My parents were parents. They weren’t supposed to be friends or people who let me slide because we’re related. Much was expected of me and I had a high standard to follow. Characteristics of goodness, love, honor, respect,…nothing has changed. I’m the same.

Maybe some people need to evolve. Maybe some people were raised in turbulent homes. Maybe some people weren’t given a sound morale compass early in life. Yes, maybe they need to evolve. But for those of us raised with a firm foundation, we don’t have to evolve. We are already who we were made to be. I am not "progressive" because what am I going to "progress" to? I already had love and respect for everyone. I already knew what it meant to have honor for myself and others. I don’t need to change.

Yes, that young man is still inside of me…even into my 50’s. Maybe some of my toys have changed. I still lift weights and run. But I learned some old man hobbies too, like fly fishing and kayaking. But I’ve also learned to pole dance, hula hoop, paddleboard, and do acro yoga. There is always something new to learn. But the playfulness hasn’t changed. Its all about learning new playfulness. Its what keeps me in the mind of that young man.

It shouldn’t take a conscious effort to be young. It is a natural state of mind. You don’t have to slide into a polyester suit and wear old person shoes. You can wear Daisy Dukes and be barefoot too. It doesn’t matter your age.

Be young always! Be who you have always been! Don’t evolve. Evolving is for old people! Stay young!

Psoas News!

I started listening to the Shrugged Collective podcast this morning and heard some remarkable news. A scientist was the guest who was talking about the Psoas. In fresh dissections of human cadavers, he verified little reported ideas about the psoas being connected to the diaphragm. More amazingly, some say it IS the diaphragm. In anatomy text books and diagrams, they show the insertion of the psoas along the spine. They don’t show its connection to the psoas. This has very amazing implications!!

More to come as I listen to the podcast and do some self-study!

Social Ineptitude

Haha, now I’m the last person who should be writing this post. I mean, I’m out there. I teach yoga classes. I’ve done a lot of things in front of people. But I love alone time. I’m a total introvert. I’d much rather be by myself or with my family than in a crowd. I despise crowds.

But…I also feel like I was raised with good etiquette. More like Southern etiquette that I know. I always said yes sir and yes ma’am as a kid. Then, we did the same thing when I was in the Army. Its a common politeness that comes with civil society. I was also raised with chivalry. I know the women’s movements have thrown much of that in the trash. But I still abide by it. There are many women stronger and braver than I am. But I’ll still hold a door open or let a woman go first in line. I’m not changing my ways for anyone. Its just nice to do these things for people.

So, you’re probably wondering why I write this post. I just walked out of my office and there is a kitchen area to the right. A colleague who sits in the next office was washing something in the sink. She looked up at me and I said hello. She just gives me this goofy grin and ignores me.


Now its not just her. There’s a guy who walks around in his baggy britches who is always really gruff. He also says brash things just to show he is his own guy. He likes to ruffle feathers. But I’ve learned to never say hello or smile or anything to him. I wait for what he does first. The reason being is that you feel like a fool if you say anything. If you say Hello, he might just look straight ahead and keep walking. If you smile at him, he’ll ask you what you’re smiling at. Then, on another day, he’ll exuberantly say "Hey man, how the heck are you?" I’ve seen him be the softest teddy bear in the room around people. But that’s just how moody people are. You just never know.

I know I’m generalizing, but when I go South in the U.S., I love all the syrupy talk. I don’t mind the honey this and darling that. There isn’t any harm in it in my mind. I just think people are very nice. Then, when I go North, like Chicago or Detroit, people just want to be anonymous. You don’t say hello or smile at people. You don’t offer anything extra. You just do you and that’s it. I know there are some who are really nice. But in general, this is how it is.

To be honest, I hang around a lot of academics. Its like when I worked at the University. I once said Merry Christmas to someone and he came back with all this fiery anti-religious sentiment. Most of the guys where I work don’t watch football, they don’t go fishing, and wouldn’t ever think about going to "The Beef House". So as far as small talk, its non-existent. We just don’t have much in common. I’d probably fit in much better at the gym, or at a truck stop, or maybe at the hardware store. To me, those are the normal people. They are nice and down-to-earth.

All these are generalities. People will surprise you. I call it being "aware". There are people who perceive feelings. They treat people how they expect to be treated. There is a guy who works here who I think of. If he sees you, his eyes engage. He is almost sorting out your feelings. And if he finds a spark, he’ll sense that he needs to say hi or how are you doing? But not as small talk, but out of real meaning. In many ways, I think I am that guy too. In fact, if everyone acted like this guy, I’d be so much more happy. I love people like that. Those who are kindhearted, earnest, and genuine. I think that is civil society.

I wish all people would be kinder to one another.