I won't say it's a "good" hurt because it ain't. These are bone-deep aches that are affecting the way I move through the day.
Have to wonder if I'm overdoing it. I can't imagine that's the case, though something's not quite right. It would be great to add a weekly massage to keep my rumored muscles relaxed and flexible, but that's just not in the budget.
Yesterday, the pain was at its worst. I had a great workout Saturday, but didn't feel anything until Saturday night. But all day Sunday I felt awful. This morning, not so much.
It bothered me enough to Google it, and here's what I found: Delayed-onset muscle soreness is common, and results from tiny tears that occur in the muscle as a result of high-intensity exercise, especially resistance training - which I do every trip to the gym.
What's happening is, the workout literally tears down muscle tissue, and in the days afterward the muscle begins to rebuild itself. This is a good thing because the rebuilding process creates bigger and stronger muscle. In short, this is how the muscle growth process works.
This all sounds vaguely familiar. Gross, but familiar.
While doing resistance training, I also do "negative repetitions" — where you lower the weight slower than you lift it — which also contributes to muscle soreness. I always lift on a two-count, lower on a four-count, no matter if it's bicep extensions or tricep kickbacks.
Bodybuilders and athletes consider soreness a sign of a great workout. I'd say that makes me feel better, but I'd be lying. A deep-tissue massage … now THAT would make me feel better. And a mango mojito. Perhaps at the same time.
Anyway, it sounds like I just have to tough it out. And do more stretching, before and after.
There is really good news: I can once again hit the sauna without breaking out in that awful rash. Yep, after a month of suffering, antibiotics and steroids, things seemed to have cleared up, so I took a chance Saturday and hung out in the sauna for about 15 minutes. No rash. No reaction.
Just a serious burn. Well, almost. See, I like to adorn my locs every now and then with tiny Swarovski crystals, tiny gold beads — stuff like that. Right now, I have a sterling silver cross on one, and I found out the hard way just how hot that thing can get in the sauna. I'd pulled my hair up into a high ponytail, but when I sat up, the strand with the cross swung around and seared my right cheek.
Glad it didn't leave a cross-shaped brand.Still, that intense, dry heat felt really good, so I'm back to rewarding myself with a post-workout sauna bake or spa boil.
Am willing to bet that will also ease the aches. (But not as much as a mango mojito.)
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. ~ Lance Armstrong
Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.