Americans really don’t know their bodies that well.
Just look at all of those “healthy living” books out there. Just look at all of those diet books out there. Just look at all of those ads for gym memberships, which people sign up for with good intentions and then drop out, still paying those gym memberships, and *not* for injury reasons.
And so, I guess I feel kinda dumb, having discovered the muscles between my shoulder blades late last week. Well, certainly I have muscles between my shoulder blades — they’re attached to spine, after all. But I didn’t feel them (i.e., so sore that they were screaming at me) until I did a savate pivot drill for 100+ reps, and I went, “Dang! I have muscles between my shoulder blades!”
It’s ironic: I’m advanced economically in the world that I don’t have to work my body hard in order to do my job, but my sedentary work habits will kill me if I don’t work my body hard in my off-work hours. True, grueling manual labor and a tough work-out doesn’t exactly compare, but still… there are muscles in our body that never see any work and thus we move inefficiently. But we’re so used to feeling this way that correcting it feels like hell at first, and getting over that “feels like hell” hurdle is tough. (Almost makes me wonder if you have to be a little bit of a masochist to work through that and actually *like* feeling that pain.)
Movement is like language; little babies can move in all sorts of ways as their bodies develop the muscle memory on how to move, but then certain movements fall away as other culturally-acceptable movements are reinforced, just like babies and little kids have the potential to speak various kinds of languages, but that nascent ability starts to atrophy as they speak their primary language at the expense of others. And trying to regain that earlier flexibility (as in variety) of movements when one is an adult with bad body habits is a right sonavabiotch, screaming muscles and all.