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I am a sorry sight in clinic today. I can hardly bear to sit down.

My ‘glutes’, the muscles around the back of my hips that essentially form the bulk of my bum cheeks, are so sore that any contact between them and another surface, no matter how soft and relenting, results in instant and intense pain.

Why?! Why me?!

Normally I run to clinic. This has nothing to do with my desire to be a physiotherapist. I never run to work because I am desperate to start my daily clinic. I run because of the benefits. To my health, to my wallet and, most of all, at the buffet (a buffet is my Achilles’ heel)! I live just under 6 miles from virtually every clinic I practice from. This clearly results in a daily round trip of about 11 and a half miles. I make this trip four days per week. I never run at the weekend or on a Wednesday. Essentially then I am used to physical activity. My body is considered to be ‘conditioned’.

None of this explains why I am unable to sit comfortably today in clinic, though. Well, the answer is really quite simple – my Mother-in-Law is currently living with us. She arrived yesterday. Bank holiday Monday. From Colombia. At Heathrow airport. Of course I offered, as any good Son-in-Law would, to collect her from the airport. Moreover, being a good Son-in-Law, the responsibility fell on me to ensure that the house and gardens at Chez Spoors were suitably presented to receive such an important visitor.

Off I went on Sunday morning to the garden centre to pick up some brightly coloured, cheerful-looking bedding plants. I thought it would be a lovely touch to mow perfect, typically English stripes onto all the lawns and fill the borders with the newly purchased flowers.

What a wonderful welcome!

I, therefore, spent the best part of Sunday morning mowing, digging and planting. Easy job really. Once everything was done it really did look beautiful, even though I say so myself. I then gave the inside of the house a good, thorough clean and, at about 5pm, left the house to begin the journey to Heathrow, via a stopover in London with friends.

I awoke yesterday morning. Oh my word. I struggled to leave my bed. It has been a long time since I have felt anything like that in my lower body!! I held onto the bannister as I gingerly made my way down the stairs. Ever since then my legs, and especially my glutes, have been growing more and more sore! This is all because of DOMS – Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. After a bout of unaccustomed physical activity (usually about 48 hours later) this soreness tends to develop in the muscles. It is temporary and is directly linked to the amount of micro-trauma, or damage, that has been done to the muscles during the activity. This micro-trauma is what drives adaptation, improvement and gains in muscular fitness. It is, however, VERY activity-specific. The lesson I have been reminded of here is that running almost a half marathon distance virtually every day of the week will NEVER prepare my body for a career as a gardener!

My advice – gradually build up the intensity if you want to avoid the dreaded DOMS!

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