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Hiding My Soreness and Hobbling

Living with my non-running wife, Mary, I’m conscientious about her seeing me sore from running.  She understands soreness after my long runs or after a marathon, but not moving about sore and limping after easy routine running.

Lately, however, the stiffness seems to be lingering, noticeable when getting in and out of the car, moving around after sitting in long meetings at work, even after running light mileage.  So I try to cover up my hobble because I don’t want to give her any extra ammunition that I might be over doing it—a standing debate throughout our marriage. 

Pat_materna_2 So I’ve started to use The Stick in addition to my stretching.  I’m not a gadget guy.  Never used a Thigh Master or the abdomen flab melter.  But I did purchase The Stick at a race expo after receiving a demo massage by a trained black-belt Stick expert.  It’s a simple device to achieve “muscle management” and based on all the advanced science and technology of a rolling pin.

But here’s the confession.  Using the stick doesn’t provide that same soothing, relaxing “ah-that-feels-nice” and melting sensation you get from a department store Homemedics massager. 

Noooo!  Actually rolling those plastic spindles back and forth hurts like hell!   The Stick requires the same deliberate, pre-meditated intent and meanness as committing an OJ Simpson crime—only you’re also the victim.  It delivers muscle therapy complete with all the same TLC you'd find in a medieval torture instrument.

Something seems wrong about bearing down so hard using this device that I’m wincing, short of breath, and begging myself to stop.  But the truth is when I’m done with my Stick workout, my muscles feel loose and limber— better than the benefit of just stretching and cheaper than a daily massage. And admittedly, over time, I’m no longer writhing in pain with tears rolling down my face. 

The real painful part, however, is when I get busted—caught by Mary—rolling that weapon across my quads, calves, hips, and hammies.   She asks if instead of rolling and flattening my muscles like a pre-schooler with Play-Doh, maybe I’d be wise to back off my running a bit.  Bless her heart, but she doesn’t get it that I’d rather endure the muscle management, aka, wince in pain, on the family room floor in order to enjoy a better run the next day.

Secretly, I think she ought to be glad I don’t actually use her fancy marble rolling pin on my grimy, sweaty legs. 


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I bought the stick at the Richmond Marathon expo and I must say this is the greatest thing! Yeah, it's often not pleasant, but it sure has helped this week. When I first rolled over my body, I couldn't believe the knots that were hiding - EVERYWHERE!!


I used my stick last night & I had severl tears running down my face.

Not that I'm glad you also endured the pain, but SO glad its not jsut me!!!!


I have seen the stick and always thought is was a scam. Hmm....I might endure the pain of the plastic stick in order to provide more of a benefit afterwards.


Yes, we are soldiers in the "running army". The spouses rarely understand that we can't leave our post for something as simple as a sore muscle. 'You want me on that wall; you need me on that wall'!!

Strange how O.J. has become a verb in our culture. As in, he O.J.'ed that person. Or, if so-and-so isn't careful, they'll wind up getting O.J.ed.


Sorry to hear you are hobbling. Certainly puts a damper on things, doesn't it? I have run 3 miles in November so far. Grrrr... (and Amy made me do those!) :D

Hope you heal soon.


Luckily I live with a runner so he gets the aches and pains. '

As for the stick...hmmm... odd.

Runnin' Ragged

I bought my stick back in August after hearing other people rave about it.

It is not fun, I don't look forward to using it like I do a massage, but...it gets the job done!


I wonder if a rolling pin would work? I have a Teflon one.
; )


I often wondered how good that thing was. I've heard lots of people rave about it but never got one. Might just have to look into it ;-)


I'm a big fan of the stick. It hurts so good!!

Database Diva

I bought The Stick at the St Louis expo a few years ago. It is wonderful. I ended up getting a second one that is flexible. It doesn't inflict quite as much pain, but it bends with your curves. I do my share of hobbling, too, but my husband knows better than to suggest that I cut back.

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