Monday, September 07, 2009
Day after day of biking long miles left me with aching knees. I started icing them before and after each ride and on and off during the day. My right knee popped and cracked with every step and hurt much more than my left.
The substantial difference between my left and right knees puzzled me. For several days, I carefully observed my pedaling and realized I used mainly my right leg (my dominant side) for locomotion—my (much weaker) left leg was pretty much along for the ride. Concentrating on pushing with my left leg, equalizing the effort, helped my right knee a bunch.
Exploring my weakness rather than relying on my strength....hmmmm....verrry interesting.
Next, I considered where I place my feet on the pedals. Instinctively, I use the balls of my feet. The plates on bike shoes (the part that hooks to the pedals) are placed near the center of your foot. I don't wear shoes with plates because being hooked to the pedals freaks me out, but the placement was a big clue. I started consciously centering my feet on the pedals and using my heels more because they're attached to the glutes—the largest muscles on the body. I haven't iced my knees since.
Accessing my true power. There's a thought.
Here's the kicker—I pedaled with the balls of my feet the same way I tiptoe around problems and troublesome people, with about the same results: I end up hurt and wondering why.
Well. Isn't that just a slap upside the head with a big blue icepack?
Photo credit: wagsy2405 @ flicker.com