I have a tale which might amuse you. It involves the unlikely combination of Ikea, a sore hip and Nordic walking (Nordic walking always features in my life)!
The story goes like this: I had two main things to do last Thursday. The first was to take my car in to be serviced and the second was to go to Ikea to purchase items for a pre-Christmas re-vamp of the family TV room. With hindsight it was not a good idea to do these two things on the same day. The courtesy car I was given whilst my Grand Voyager was being serviced, was a VW Up!. A gorgeous little car to drive but alarmingly inadequate, I thought, to transport the rugs and flat-packs I had in mind. Ever the optimist, I persisted with my Ikea plan.
Fast forwarding a bit: Having chosen 2 big, heavy rugs, a large, heavy TV cabinet and various other bits and bobs, I then had to lug them onto the trolley, maneuver the whole thing dodgem-style around the milling hoards and finally cram them into the kindly accommodating Up! As you can imagine, this involved quite a bit of heaving and shoving but, I said to myself, my body is in top nick thanks to that marvelous Nordic walking and I’m strong enough to do anything. Mistake number two.
Ikea purchases duly stacked in the garage and courtesy car re-swapped for my GV all seemed well – until the evening, that is, when my left hip started to throb uncomfortably. Clearly my body wasn’t invincible and, somewhere along the Ikea pathway, I had upset it. Things took an inevitable turn for the worse during the night when it felt like someone was sticking viciously hot pins into my hip joint. I finally abandoned trying to sleep at 2am and came downstairs to adopt the TV distraction technique. I opted for The Book Thief - great film by the way, although I demolished the best part of a box of tissues watching it!
Tired and hobbling badly the next day, my poor dog still needed walking so I picked up my Nordic walking poles and went out. Nordic walking is used extensively in continental Europe for hip operation pre and re-hab. A fair few of you who walk with us have either had hip replacements or are waiting for them. You successfully use Nordic walking to help take the load off your aching joints and I was interested to see if the poles would do the same for me. It was utterly amazing – and probably worth all the pain just for this benchmarking experience. I could Nordic walk very comfortably, without hobbling and with minimal discomfort. Totally different from my experience walking without poles. True, I relied heavily on my upper body to support and protect my hip but that was fine – the poles were strong, my posture was good and my upper body up to the job. Going up and down hill was a bit more uncomfortable but nowhere near as sore as it would have been without poles.
It’s been three days since my Ikea visit. My hip has now recovered (phew) and I have learned the following lessons:
- My body is not invincible;
- Nordic walking is absolutely fantastic for sore hips;
- Ikea is a dangerous place. Warm-up exercises before you go would be advisable!