Inside: And I can not lie; %$@%! Muscle cramps; Limber 11
Yeh, that’s right. I’m jumping the shark. And that shark has a big ol’ booty. Don’t give me that look. You know you want to read this.
THE MASON HUMP
(No, not you, Mason.) That’s what we call it in our family. My mother’s maiden name is Mason — my grandfather’s surname — and among the Masons the round mound of sit-down is referred to as the Mason Hump.
I’ve always been self-conscious about it. Even embarrassed. Part of the reason I aaalways wore a jacket in high school was to hide my ample buttoms and then it became a shell. (It’s hard to not write the word “bosom” after the world “ample”.)
This is a story of a cultural shift that still somehow results in alienation. Haha. I call it “A Tale of Two Ti–“. Oh wait. That doesn’t work for butts. Would have been a really good joke for my “Big Boobs” post.
It’s a well known fact that big butts have been valued in the black community since probably forever. There’s a scientific term for really big ol’ butts. Did you know that? Steatopygia. Back in the days of vast, sweeping, in your face colonial empire Europeans considered it a novelty, a curiosity, and a medical condition.
I remember watching TV in the 70s and 80s and being intrigued by all of the models on TV and in magazines. Remember: this was before the internet. Media was completely white washed, too. Like, I’m not trying to get all racial and political. It’s just the way it was, though.
The projected ideal of beauty was tall, white, usually blonde women who were thin and had flat asses. Well, shapely but — I don’t know. Modest? Think of your Farrah Fawcetts, Cheryl Tiegs, or Lonnie Andersons
FAST FORWARD A FEW DECADES
Butts are in. Big ones. There are infomercials selling the promise of a more badonkulous ass. I’ve seen Brazilian Butt Lift, Brazilian Bum Bum, and others. Um. Multiple times.
You know things are going to get crazy when corporate America gets a hold of some body image and proportion fascination. They’ll sell and capitalize on anything and it’s almost always to the detriment of the population.
They are brilliant at finding ways to make the latest craze palatable to the majority population. Unfortunately, black women don’t get a whole lot of respect or love in our society so if you want to sell “healthy” butts in the western world you go with Brazil, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Ice T’s wife. They all pass the brown paper bag test.
The funny thing is, look at how the ideal of Brazilian backsides are portrayed in American media vs. Brazilian. I mean, look at the Ms. Brazilian Bum Bum contestants vs. the women in the infomercials — no contest oh! — or the bevy of bikini clad beach babes in Fast and Furious 5. (Now that’s alliteration!)
I see all kinds of gym memes, advice articles, and what not about squatting in order to bootify one’s self.
DARN RIGHT I’M LOOKING
And yoga pants. It is absolutely amazing that yoga and other skin tight pants are the norm for women. Form fitting, curve accentuating, sometimes translucent. Whereas roomy gym shorts and cotton or moisture wicking T-shirts are the standard for men, women’s activewear leaves little to the imagination.
I was working at a Starbucks one sub-freezing afternoon and a lot of women were passing through. Black yoga pants, every one of them. Polar Vortex be damned. Black yoga pants and Uggs.
I’m not complaining, mind you. I’m just saying. And I am looking. When I’m out and about or wherever. I can’t help it. Respectfully, of course. I’m not talking about ogling, leering, or critiquing women’s figures like I’m a judge at the Westminster dog show. Yes, a fine undercarriage. Oh, dear me, my monocle appears to be fogging. I say!
I admire, appreciate, and desire but I never forget that those bodacious assets are but one aspect of a human being.
I’m totally off the rails here. What the heck was my point?
Why not. On one hand you’ve got people trying to get lean and idealizing the practically impossible proportions of fitness models. You’ve seen those fitspiration memes all with young, tiny women with bulbous glutes.
On the other hand there’s a subculture of bootyphytes. Haha! Oh my goodness I’m killin’ me over here.
Seriously, though. Women who, for whatever reasons, feel inadequate.
It’s hard to believe that people are out there getting implants and silicone injected in their butt cheeks to achieve some exaggerated standard of beauty. Inevitably suffering from it, too. It’s crazy.
FAMOUS BUTT PHOTOGRAPHER
Inspired by the ass pageants of the Southern Hemisphere, I once said that I’d like to be a famous butt photographer. I was mostly joking about that, but if I were to somehow end up going down that road, I would make sure to focus on callipygous diversity.
Beauty comes in many forms.
I “ran” the Dundalk Challenge 5K the other weekend. The weather was miserable but it was still somehow a good time. Except that I got serious muscle tremors in and around my calves. The front outer muscle was inflated, for lack of a better word, and never relaxed. That often happens when I don’t warm up enough and I didn’t warm up at all.
For the next five days my legs were constantly twitching. It was distracting. Had trouble falling asleep. You ever cook a sauce and reduce it? You know how it bubbles when it simmers? That’s kind of what the muscle twitches felt like.
The tremors/spasms are warning shots. I usually get three or so before a full blown muscle cramp. I also got tremors during Mental Toughness last Saturday.
It could be because my legs were a little stressed out from the run. It could just be all of the hill sprinting. The tremors kicked in on the walk back from The Hill. I wasn’t even carrying the trap bar. Hate. Hate muscle cramps.
Everything else was fine. Y’know. I wanted to sprint up Spring Dr. with the trap bar but I was shut down by these effing cramps. My fitness and all that would spike if I could get past the cramping and lower back flare ups.
Anyway, on Saturday I had to walk and lag behind in order to stretch and rest in order to avoid the actual muscle earthquake — the full blown charlie horse. Not only are they intensely painful — INTENSELY — but it takes days for the soreness to go away and it affects performance. The muscles are kind of unstable afterwards.
I’ve done a lot of research and basically no one knows why they happen. The short version is, you have to train to the intensity and flavor of the activity in question. Once the muscles and nerves(?) fatigue the “Hey, muscle. Relax.” signals stop firing.
Dehydration can definitely be a factor. Electrolytes maybe, although some studies have shown that the electrolyte levels hadn’t changed after muscle cramps.
Usually for me, once one muscle group goes, it will go again. Left calf, left calf. Then if I keep at it another muscle group. Left hamstring. Then another. This suggests dehydration or some sort of imbalance. Right? Maybe my body burns through something important really quickly that throws the system out of whack. I just don’t know what it is.
When I worked at Apple we had a team that played in a coed intramural soccer league. We were always a few people short of people and played two and sometimes three people down. The first game ended when I got a calf cramp. There were still ten or fifteen minutes left in the final half. The referee asked if we wanted to call it quits. I said no, of course, because I’m stupid. The team was like, “Yeh, that’s it. That’s enough.”
A few weeks later, playing two games a week, I was tearing around the field for entire games with no substitutes. I’m not a good soccer player, by the way, but I do love playing.
That was also the only time that my endurance and stamina improved substantially across the board. You’re talking 75 minutes of sprint intervals, pretty much, so it makes sense.
Point? I’m going to have to do more running, especially intervals to beat this thing. Pretty sure of that.
I definitely have slipped on drinking enough water. That’s going to become critical as it gets hotter.
I’d like to get my blood tested, although I’ve heard that they may not be accurate. Whatever the case, there’s nothing stopping me from supplementing. And I found out that Emergen-C and Airborne, in addition to vitamin C, are a cocktail of minerals. Look at these ingredients.
I finally started doing my fitness homework. This should help my lower back. I think I can feel things loosening up in the lower back and hips, which is manifesting itself as more clicks and ka-chunks so far.
I’m telling you. If I can get past these roadblocks I will be a force.
Come on, Spring. Come on, Summer.