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Ode to the Foam Roller

Posted by Neptune Barbell on 3/20/2015
I once referred to the Foam Roller as a ďStyrofoam Tube of Evil.Ē And I meant it. I had sustained an injury known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) in both knees due to running and improper stretching and strength training. As a newbie runner training for my first marathon, I was all gung-ho, and thought my body was strong, invincible even.
But like a car that blows a stop sign, this pain came out of nowhere. Every step I took was torture, as pain shot up to my hips and around both knee caps. It took me a long time to realize that in order to stay healthy and injury free, I needed to take care of my body in ways Iíd never even thought of. Strength training had never even occurred to me. My Scottish heritage gave me calves and quads like tree trunks, and endurance was never an issue. Until I continued to sustain injury upon injury upon injury. Each time I landed myself in physical therapy, I was forced to use that godforsaken Styrofoam Tube of Evil. We had a definite Hate/Hate relationship.

What made it evil was the fact that it worked. Along with the fact that it hurt like an SOB. If it didnít hurt, it wasnít working. Iíd lay on my right side with the tube under my thigh, and slowly roll up and down, and then switch sides. I could feel the lactic acid pop while I rolled and as much as it hurt, with it came relief, like the absence of being punched in the face.

I still have issues with my knees, but only because Iím older, and my cartilage has worn thin. I wonít stop running though, because letís face it, runners are crazy and we donít listen. At least I donít, anyway. And when my knee pain becomes unbearable, as much as I hate it, Iíll get down on my Styrofoam Tube of Evil, and it will hurt like hell. But the next time I run, it wonít hurt at all. So, thank you Foam Roller. Thank you, Styrofoam Tube of Evil, for letting me run just a few more miles, and perhaps a few more marathons.
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