Sometimes It’s So Obvious, You Miss It.

I’m going to tell a story to make a point. Sort of like one of my favorite writers from my young days, Bill Starr.


Bill wrote for the muscle rags and was light years ahead of his time. And he always told a story to illustrate the purpose of his article.
I stole that from him.
So here goes.
I’ve been doing everything I can to get this hip better, and much of it is helping. I am not afraid to try any modality new or old to get results. Pretty much the only thing I haven’t tried is acupuncture.
Don’t ask why, I have no answer, other than needing to make time to do it.

As part of Old Man Conjugate, I am required to do whatever I can today in training or in recovery work, and I’ve been searching for the Holy Grail for a while.

I think I’ll be searching for a good long time because I’m pretty sure it doesn’t exist.

But I have found some true gems along the way.


But, sometimes it’s so obvious, you miss it and you need to go for the simplest solution first.


Let’s back up as I like to do. My hip is junk and I write about it a lot in an effort to help others with nagging injuries, NOT to be a weeping bitch. It prevents me from squatting, pulling, tying my shoe and walking more than a block or two without stabbing, searing pain.
Much of the recovery/mobility modalities I’ve tried have helped reduce the pain and restore some mobility.


Not enough to do what I used to, but my current goals are simple:

  • Walk without looking like a victim.
  • Sleep through the night without pain waking me up.
  • Be able to tie my own shoes and put on my own socks. Sure, Sabra is happy to do it for me, but it sucks asking and it’s a little embarrassing.
  • Swing my leg over my bike and be able to put my foot down at a stop without worry it will give out.


She doesn't mind tying my shoes. She doesn't mind tying my shoes.





Once these are in place I will reassess new goals.
I was doing some stretching two weeks ago after training, something I used to do all the time, but stopped due to the pain.
You see, I’ll lay on a table and let someone do ART or Graston which hurts lot, but I will not do something to myself that hurts that much.


Stretching hurts.

So I stopped.

But, sometimes it’s so obvious, you miss it.

One of my lifters, and friends, Cheryl asked me where the pain was, what the restrictions were and said she bet that in a month she could get me to improve my hip mobility and decrease my pain.


Sometimes It’s So Obvious, You Miss It. CJ Murphy Elitefts (2)
Cheryl is a member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame and a former gymnast, you may remember her from the interview we did a while back. If anyone knows about stretching, it’s gonna be a 900th degree Black Belt. So, I’m in.
We started on a partner assisted stretching program two weeks ago and all I can say is HOLY SHIT!
It’s working.
I am walking at least 50% better, I am waking up in the middle of the night once or twice a week in pain instead of several times a night, and I can swing my leg over the Garbage Wagon.



Sometimes It’s So Obvious, You Miss It,  CJ Murphy,  Elitefts
(The Garbage Wagon, not mine, I’m borrowing a buddies)



CJ Murphy, the Pig, elitefts ,Sometimes It’s So Obvious, You Miss It.

(Mine is much cooler.)




Cheryl designed a simple yet effective partner stretching plan that we do three times a week that addresses my issues. Not all at once, we are attacking the most critical areas first then we will move on.
We hit the side split pretty hard as well as frog and a side kick position stretch. She also does a lot of internal rotation stretches on me.
These areas are where the most restriction in my movement are and also where the most pain is.
My range of motion on all has improved by at least 20 degrees in only 2 weeks!
I’d say there is a higher percentage of pain relief from the increase in ROM.
Now, many would ask why wasn’t I stretching before.
Easy answer.
It hurt too much. But now I have a partner to stretch me and I have accountability.
Many also would ask why I didn’t think of this before.
You would think that I would have right?
Well, when you read current research, trends and posts, you see new things and sometimes you forget old things.
You also fall into the trap of listening to people that seem like they know what they are talking about but may not.
Stretching has gotten a bad rap in a lot of places and excessive mobility/flexibility is not needed unless you compete in sports that require them, like Kickboxing, Karate, etc.
I started to think about this while stretching with Cheryl and the stupid light bulb went off in my head.
When I started Kickboxing and Muay Thai decades ago, I did not have the flexibility required to do it well. And as Coach I really needed to make sure I could demonstrate the kicks I was teaching. Seems obvious.
How did I get the required flexibility to drop into a split way back when?
A lot.
The answer was right there all along and it was so simple I missed it.
I missed it because my mind was full of other things like reading that stretching won’t solve the problem, or avoiding it because of the pain.
Cheryl helped me realize that I needed to go for the simplest solution first. I also had to NOT stretch to the pain point. I need to relax into it and get through the pain by breathing and gentle stretching.
Not the ballistic style I used in conjunction with static years ago to develop kicks that were face height.
I also need to continue doing what I am doing that is working, RPR, Acumobility drills and get some Acupuncture. It might help!

So what’s the point of all this?


Don’t overlook the simplest solution to YOUR issue.

Do you miss a Bench Press at lockout?
Do extra tricep work, and hit it hard.
Are you having trouble getting leaner?
Cut calories and be consistent.
Are you missing deadlifts because the bar falls out of your hands?
Do some damn grip work.
It’s frequently the simple solution that works and many times we overlook the simplest one.
Take a look at what YOUR problem is and think about the simplest solution. Then do it. And be consistent.
Chances are you’ll see improvements quickly. If your progress stalls or stops, reassess.
There will probably be another simple solution that comes to mind.
Why didn’t I think of this for myself sooner?
It’s what I would have told someone else……
I might add this as a core component of Old Man Conjugate.


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Vincere vel mori



C.J. Murphy

September 17, 2020



Total Performance Sports

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