Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2-hydroxypropanoic acid

"Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want about any subject. So you know you are getting the best possible information." - Michael Scott, "The Office," Season 3, Episode 18.

The issue of this post, of course, is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which I should certainly have today, in spades. Popular belief holds that lactic acid building up in the muscles causes this, but as I learned just this morning from Wikipedia, "
this is a misconception as it has been shown elevated levels of lactic acid rarely persist after an hour of rest."

Boy, do I feel like a sheep. I took contrast showers not once but twice yesterday, acting on the theory that they help get the lactic acid out of the muscles. Now I find out that lactic acid isn't even an issue. Apparently that was gone from my muscles before I even got done panting yesterday.

But here's the thing: I think they worked.

I have known DOMS before. I have been nearly incapacitated by DOMS, brought on by my own ego. You see, I was not always a four-eyed, out-of-shape fat person. No indeed. Back in the day, I was a four-eyed, out-of-shape skinny person. If today my portrait is reminiscent of a snowman,

back then it was more like a stick figure.

Anyway, in my second year of college I got a new roommate who I'd gone to high school with, and one day he decided we should go lift weights. I wanted to be a good ol' boy, too, so I went along. And I kept up with him, because honestly he didn't look to be in that much better shape than I was. I wasn't about to come off looking like the wimp I was.

The next day I could barely move. DOMS had come home to roost in a big way. I have lifted since, but never with such reckless abandon. So believe me when I tell you I know DOMS, and what I've got today isn't it.

So maybe the contrast showers helped anyway, lactic acid or no. No less an authority than Wikipedia tells us that,
"Some recommend contrast showers as a treatment, alternating between cold and hot water; as it may increase circulation." Whatever it was, I'm glad I did it. Because at least physically, I don't feel too bad today. Amazing.

Tomorrow at 12, I will feel differently. But so far, so good.

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