Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Get A Grip!
About four months ago I discovered a new kind of pain in my hands.
It was in between the knuckle bones - but in the palms of my hands.
If I pressed on those areas, I got a strong shock of pain.
Immediately I thought "maybe it's an early onset of arthritis".
I'll be 50 in February, and while I'm not falling apart,
things, as they say, "don't improve" from here.
I talked to doctors.
I asked the older members of my family when they started experiencing arthritis.
I read up on the various maladies that affect the hands.
But most of all, I worried - worried like crazy.
Not rowing, for me,
would be like a wine sommelier not being able to get near wine,
like a pilot having to never fly again,
or an artist never being able to pick up a brush.
To say that I'm "invested" in gondolas would be quite an understatement.
I obsessed over every single thing I'd been doing with my hands.
I looked at everything from the way I was gripping the steering wheel of my car...to how I held my toothbrush.
Weight lifting, power tools, and even how I smacked the side of my coffee grinder each morning - all of these were subject to great scrutiny.
Then, during a check-up, my dentist told me that my gums were receding.
He said that it's not unusual at this age for it to start happening,
but he said:
"based on what I'm looking at,
your problem is being caused by over-brushing".
"How can that be bad?" , I asked.
He said "You only need to brush so hard.
Anything harder and you're just doing damage".
This got me thinking.
I considered all the areas where I was overdoing it,
and realized that when I rowed, I was gripping the remo
much harder than necessary.
Since then I've paid attention to my grip, and I've realized
that overgripping not only can cause pain, it's also counterproductive.
Think about it:
you only need to hold on so tightly.
Anything more is just a waste of energy.
So get a grip, my friends!
But don't grip more than you have to.
That remo isn't going to get away from you.
I haven't had those between-the-knuckle pains in almost two months now.
Hopefully I 'll be rowing well into my 70's without any pain.