Not long ago, after a layoff of about a decade, I took up running again. And I’m glad I did — I can hardly extol the virtues of a good run too highly.
Of course, not all runs are good ones. You may encounter, in the midst of a streak of delightful runs, an inexplicably difficult one. I had one such this past weekend. For the first mile or so, I had virtually no strength in my hamstrings — which I didn’t understand. For on the day of the run I was quite fresh, my legs well rested. But then I remembered something I’d heard about “dynamic stretching.” And I realized that I probably needed to incorporate some dynamic stretching into my pre-run routine.
When I checked into some of the dynamic stretches appropriate for runners, though, I was astounded. For the kinesiologists who’d developed the stretches had been anticipated by, of all things, the Ministry of Silly Walks. Consider, for example, this dynamic stretch:
And this one:
Attire those guys in suits, and give them hats, briefcases, and bumbershoots, and the foregoing diagrams would scarcely be distinguishable from the following one, of Mr. Cleese:
So before my next run, I shall have to fire up the DVD player, turn on episode 14 of the Flying Circus, and carefully examine Mr. Cleese’s moves. And, if the subsequent run goes well, perhaps I’ll apply for a grant to develop the silly walks into a dynamic stretching routine.