Does My Butt Look Slanted in Spandex?


If the title of this blog made you uncomfortable, then you know exactly how I felt lying on the therapist’s table as he kinesiotaped my backside.  

It started with a rolled-up pereformis which lead to my sacrum pulling under, my L5 vertebrae locking, my left hip raising a whole inch, and the fascia of my hamstring interweaving with the fascia of my glutes.  All that to say, my bottom hurt when I ran.  Which ultimately lead me to the therapist (the physical kind) trying to correct months of damage.  That’s when he pulled out the Kinesiotape.

 Kinesiotape is the new thing in sports training.  It contradicts the former concept of compression, designed instead to pull the pressure away from an injury.   Still somewhat experimental, the company is passionate about following how athletes are using it.  So much so, that they compiled an entire catalog of pictures displaying the artwork created on Olympic Athletes in Athens.  In the Summer of 2008, top runners wore web-like patterns on their calves, volleyball players appeared to have tatoos-gone-wrong draped across their shoulders, and tennis players turned their knees into smiley faces — all in the name of competing through pain.

The therapist gave me a catalog to look at while he went to work.  Perhaps he sensed my humiliation because as he taped he also cracked jokes.  “Do you mind if I get a second opinion . . . ”  “I hope these colors match your outfit . . .” And my personal favorite “Wow, Kinesio would love to have a picture of this.”

“Only if they airbrush,”  I told him . . . “Only if they airbrush.”

I left the therapist with catalog in hand, ego in check,  and rear-end lifted .   .  . but only on the right.   All in the name of competing through pain.

 It used to be that athletes made it look easy.   They appeared to defy their humanity, performing as only gods could.   Thanks to technology, they are a little more human.  Though, their feats have not changed, we now see they hurt like the rest of us.  It is written all over their bodies — in Kinesio.

My Kinesio job left one side of my bum higher than the other.  It was like plastic surgery gone wrong.  I found myself digging through my dresser in search of workout pants without spandex.  I did not want to go to work, to run my 50k race, to teach my PE kids with a slanted bottom.  I did not want to look flawed in front of others.

Kinesio, on the other hand, is thriving on the flaws of others.  The injuries and pain of their clients are Kinesio’s strongest  advertisement.  If the Olympians can be hurt and still compete (thanks to a little tape), then maybe you and I can overcome our own flaws as well.

I do not like others to know my flaws.  I desperately seek to appear in complete control at all times.  Truth is:  my butt looks slanted in spandex.  I should wear it anyway.  

I was inspired to realize that those god-like athletes hurt just like I do. 

I want to inspire people too.  I want my life to encourage others to keep playing the game or running the race.  I used to think that meant I had to have it all together.  I am learning that it actually means I just need to give it all, in spite of what I do not have. 

In Sunday School we learn early on that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  He is like the Kinesiotape of life.  Our faults and failures and imperfections are His greatest advertisement.  It is in our weakness that He becomes strong.   And that is truly inspiring.

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