After the marathon two-day drive home from Tucson, AZ and the subsequent cleaning/unpacking of gear, it was time to address my back issue. My approach to fixing my back will be no different than researching a new piece of bike gear. I will gather as much info as possible, obsess over the pros & cons (there might be a spreadsheet involved), and then move forward with confidence.
Step #1 – Gathering Information
I took the first step before leaving Tucson when I made a Thursday afternoon appointment with Jen Fisher of Teton Therapeutic Massage. Jen has worked on me occasionally for a few years now and knows my normal hotspots. My visits to Jen are often “rewards” to myself after an endurance race and therefore she is used to seeing me sore. However, on the Thursday following Old Pueblo Jen bluntly said “you are a mess”. She was referring to my overly tight hamstrings and the lack of natural curve in my lower back. At the end of the session Jen handed me a Yoga schedule and told me directly “you need Yoga in your life”. Jen is by far the best massage therapist I have even been to and I respect her advice.
The Flat Back posture is often caused by muscle imbalance and/or tightness
Step #2 - Yoga
In a strange bit of fate, the Yoga Tejas studio in Driggs was offering a Beginner Intensive 5-night class starting the following Sunday night. I took it as a sign. My resistance to doing Yoga was due in part to feeling like I didn’t know how to do the poses correctly and therefore I felt like I was wasting my time. A bad first impression of Yoga was also lingering in my brain. I took my first Yoga class in Jackson last summer and walked out of it feeling like Yoga was way too hippy-dippy for me. A 5-night class would either get me on the right track or would prove once and for all that Yoga is not for me. After only 2 of 5 classes I already see the benefit. I really like the teaching style of Bridget Lyons and the pace of the class is quick and athletic.
Step #3 – A.R.T.The morning after Old Pueblo I received an email from my friend and pro cyclist Amanda Carey urging me to go see a woman in Jackson who practices A.R.T. Amanda had received several A.R.T. treatments for a back issue as well and recommended Josie highly. Josie works out of One to One Wellness and after a lengthy follow-up conversation with Amanda I made an appointment to see Josie on Monday. The One to One Wellness facility oozes energy and I immediately felt comfortable there. My first treatment was, well, intense. I almost launched off of the table several times when Josie dug into a problem area. Ironically, Josie was the second woman in less than a week to tell me “you are a mess”.
One of the best explanations of A.R.T. I have found is HERE.
This week is less about the bike and more about rebuilding my body so that I can begin training again without pain. I have plenty of time to ramp it back up before the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde in early May.
Lastly, GO PETERVARYS!!!