I've been trying to stick to a 5-6 day a week workout schedule, and recently decided to give myself a break from laps around the lake (3.2 miles of "I'm bored") by going to a cardio hip hop class. Because that sounds fun, right? As I've noticed previously on this blog -- after the other time I tried this class -- I figured out a very successful strategy for not feeling dumb and uncoordinated in such classes: stand in the back so that you can't see yourself. Then stare at the teacher and pretend that they're you. Result? You look fantastic. In my case, that means that I have suddenly morphed into a black man, but you know what? That image is almost more realistic than me actually perfecting a body roll. So I'm sticking to it.
Anyway, last Friday's class was great and I left energized, so energized, in fact, that I stopped by my friend Josh's house afterwards to show him my "moves." Actually, to be more specific, I tried to play it off like it was Josh who wanted to see me dance -- but he was on to me. When I asked, "Do you want to see the dance?" he responded, "I know you want to show me the dance," and reluctantly agreed to watch. So I went out onto the sidewalk in front of his house and ran through the routine.
Fine and good, if a little embarrassing. But as I walked away from his house into the bright mid-morning sun, I felt a pinch in my shoulder. Like, not a little tweak, but some serious pain -- and it didn't go away. Rather, when I sat down in a nearby cafe to try to get some work done, it began to radiate down my arm and make me feel slightly nauseated. I started to wonder if my hip hop routine were actually pushing me into shock.
The pain didn't go away, so I bought some Aleve, convinced the people at the cafe to give me some ice, and called my med school friend, Jenny, to see what she thought might be going on. Unable to determine simply by phone whether it were a simple muscle pull or something more serious, like a pinched nerve, she suggested that if it didn't feel better, I go to the emergency room.
I didn't do that, which turned out to be lucky because if I had, the cause of injury would have been really really embarrassing. See, because it turned out that what I had wasn't a pulled muscle, or a pinched nerve. It was a hip-hop induced muscle spasm in my rhomboid. I think it happened when I threw my arms above my head at the same time as performing a hip thrust. (Do not try this at home.) Once I'd taken a bunch of ibuprofen and had Peter press his entire body weight, via his elbow, into the offending muscle, the pain went away, for the most part -- but it's still a little sore, and when I went running yesterday, it started cramping up again.
So now I'm left in a quandary: Do I lay off the hip hop? Or can I go back on Friday? Because the thing is, the class is really fun. And a lot of the people in the class are older than I am, and don't appear to be doing any damage to their rhomboids. But still, I question: is it worth the risk?
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