If you have been running, biking, or doing any sort of athletic pursuit for a while, it is likely you have had an injury of some sort. This is especially more likely as you get older (like after 30). That injury could be as major as a broken bone (a dad at my kids school broke his femur falling off his bike), or as minor as chafing. But you likely have had sore muscles. One of the things you can do to ease those sore muscles is some sort of heat rub (Icy Hot, Ben Gay, Tiger Balm, etc.). Rub this stuff on sore muscles and the menthol in the cream stimulates the nerve receptors in your muscles to make them feel cool, then hot. This helps ease the pain.
Well… let me tell you a story about how you need to be careful when you apply this stuff.
With my training leading up to and the running my first 50k (which I did awesome), I had to do a big increase in mileage in a short period of time. During this ramp up in mileage, I developed some muscle pain in my left pelvis area. After some stretching and foam rolling, the pain wasn’t going away, so I applied some heat rub to that area and started getting dressed.
I had gotten dressed and was heading out the door to get the weekly grocery shopping done when the heat started to rise.
Apparently, I spread the stuff a bit too far and got some on… um… my… uh…. manly parts. Let’s put it this way, I got to experience Jerry Lee Lewis’ most well-known song. And while there was a Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Going On, that wasn’t the song I was talking about.
I had not put the Dashing Daughter in the car yet, so I took her back to the master bedroom, plopped her in her bouncy chair (entertainment and containment), dropped my pants, and tried to wipe the heat rub off my… uh…. stuff.
Well, let me tell you… once that rub has been rubbed in, it is impossible to wipe off.
The heat was building. It was getting quite painful. So, while dancing and happing around, I moved the bouncer with the Dashing Daughter in it in front of the bathroom door so I could watch her while I jumped in the shower. I was hoping that some soap and water would remove the remaining heat rub. Or if nothing else, adding some cool water would counter act the heat.
Two things that I have since learned. Heat rub doesn’t actually increase the temperature of your skin. If you touch the area with your hands, it isn’t going to feel hot or cold. Like I said above, it is nerve receptors reacting to the menthol making you feel like that. I also learned that water, hot or cold, makes your nerve receptors more susceptible to the menthol.
That is when things got even hotter in my nether regions. My voice, which isn’t all that deep to begin with, rose a couple more octaves. Amidst high pitched howls of pain, I jumped out of the shower, grabbed my towel, and started drying off. I was dancing around in pain with my towel between my legs. Once the water was dried away, I grabbed the hand towel and started fanning the area. I was no longer screaming, but I was definitely making some strange hooting noises. As the pain subsided, I look over and I see the Dashing Daughter looking at me with a giant smile on her face. She was bouncing in her chair and laughing at me.
It is nice to know that my pain can cause joy to somebody.
Eventually, the heat subsided, and the pain went away. However, I learned a valuable lesson. Which I will share with you as a Dashing Dad public service announcement – Heat rub is great stuff to relieve muscle pain, just be careful where you put it.
PS – you are welcome for the lack of pictures. They weren’t becoming in any sense of the word.