Stoned Muscle

A blunt take on fitness

I don’t look like a stoner — or so I’ve been informed. I suppose we are hard to recognize without a couch, a cloud of smoke, and Scooby-Doo by our side. Despite these discrepancies, I have been a marijuana enthusiast and user for the past five years. When I first started blazing, I was 18 and unaware of any effects the drug had other than making movie plots richer, food more appetizing, and laughs heartier.

The ample circle scenes from That 70s Show seem to supply what non-smokers are ready to accept about weed culture; paranoid kids talking conspiracy theories and having a good time wasting time. To be fair, what else is to be expected of a “recreational” drug? And with an honest admittance to the readership, that is exactly how I used my early highs. I shared a view common among stoners — weed makes everything better. There was never a bad time to get lit, wake and bakes, before lunch, after lunch, pre-dinner appetizer, after dessert spark up, pre hang-out sesh, circles, the last bedtime high.

Currently, I smoke once a day. Ask any stoner and they will tell you the first high of the day is the best high of the day, mainly because that is the highest high. I wish I could tell you that every high is just as euphoric as the first time experimenting with it, but that is simply not how the body and tolerance work. So I save it, every day, for the same activity — fitness. Running, lifting, yoga, hiking, biking, anything endorphin related is where my high energy is going to be directed. Endorphins meet THC.

My “pre-workout” of choice might surprise some, but I re-present the idea that cannabis is used for medical purposes. People may scoff at this since acquiring a medical card in California requires little more than fifty bucks and a quick search on WeedMaps for a local doctor. However, there are studies to prove that weed calms and relaxes individuals, reduces feelings of nausea, increases air flow into the lungs, and works as a very effective pain killer. I remember when I was in fourth grade P.E. running the forced mile, I would hold my sides hoping the cramps would subside. Exercise hurts. That sentiment is cemented in the saying “no pain, no gain.” If you don’t tear your muscles, you will never build harder, stronger muscles. But do we have to zero in on every rip along the way?

I have found that an incredible thing happens with stoned muscle — I am more in touch with my body than before, and yet my thoughts are not spent obsessing over what my body is doing. This allows me to have better form while performing an exercise, feeling exactly what muscle is being isolated without focusing on when I can drop the weight in my hand. There are many times when I find myself coming up with on the spot work-outs simply because I am in tune with what muscle needs to be worked next. I am fully alive in the moment — essential for avoiding injury and magnifying each individual movement. My recovery time is halved, my results are doubled and my runner’s high just got higher.

Photo taken by Sara Mae Heady
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