Today, for those of you who don’t keep up on such things, is World Sauntering Day. This is a day during which one is supposed to walk in a “very casual, yet stylish” way. Of course, it never fails but that today would be the day I spent limping around everywhere I’ve had to go.
I woke up this morning badly dehydrated, and when I tried to get out of bed, both of my legs cramped up, and I collapsed. After stretching them out some, I was able to stand up, and eventually get ready for work. I almost didn’t make it to the car, but I did somehow get into the office. I spent the rest of the day hobbling as my calf muscles (the gastrocnemii, to be technical) slowly unwound. Even once they’d loosened up again, they hurt from having been cramped up for so long.
Knowing that I was dehydrated, and that this was likely the cause of the excruciating cramps in my legs, I drank a huge quantity of water today. In spite of this, it took until well after lunch before I could even walk at more than a slow, grinding pace. Even now, my legs ache when I walk. What should I have done to speed up this process?
The web offers little help. I have found any of a number of sites which recommend that I gently stretch the muscles that are cramping, which I certainly did. Suggestions for gentle massage also abound. Several sites suggest that one should attempt to replace lost electrolytes, as well. I had already thought of that, and tried drinking a bottle of Gatorade that I bought when I had to stop for gas on the way to work. I pity the poor clerk who tried to make pleasant conversation with me as I limped up to the counter. I fear I might not have been polite. Perhaps as punishment for my treatment of the clerk, the Gatorade did nothing to ease the discomfort in my legs.
I begin to fear that this is a problem for which there is no quick and easy solution. My conditioning in a culture of instant gratification has made me ill-equipped to deal with this situation. With luck, however, it will have gone away on its own by morning. Tomorrow, so help me, I will saunter.