I’m a runner. I love running for exercise. Late yesterday evening my running buddy Zach and I ran a 3-miler on a beautiful West Texas spring evening. Because it was late, I didn’t do a very good job stretching when I finished. Unfortunately, I paid the price for not stretching at about 3 a.m. this morning when I was attacked by a killer Charlie-horse. Nothing, I mean nothing, will remove you from bed and a deep sleep like a Charlie-horse. I got up immediately, grabbed my right calf and started jumping up and down, arms flailing, feet moving and leg cramping. I have no doubt that had it not been dark in the room, Lea would have seen my dance and thought that I was either dreaming that I was Michael Jackson or that I had just got the Spirit!

I hate Charlie-horses. Have you ever done a 3 a.m. Charlie-horse dance?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
23 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Greg says:

    I was a high school basketball official for almost 20 years and had those early morning dances more than once! No fun at all.

  2. doug young says:


    Back last summer when we had all the rain in the metroplex, I didn’t get much mountain biking in because all the trails were closed. Riding a mountain bike on pavement is just something I have no desire to do.

    Eventually, our family got a gym membership that offered great spin classes. Generally, after the warm up, instructors will shut the lights off and throw in biking videos that are projected into the front of the room. One instructor was a dirt guy like me, I had heard. So I took his class after a long hiatus of riding.

    It was one hour of intense riding…intense riding that I was not prepared for. I fared well during the class, but that night, not long after midnight, I began to cramp unlike anything I had ever before experienced. The bad thing was that my wife had little to no sympathy for me.

  3. TREY MORGAN says:

    Doug … no sympathy? Yea, I feel your pain there brother!

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Dusty Rush says:

    I like to run too Trey. Middle of the night Charlie-horses is one of the worst ways to wake up. I hate it! But I also hate stretching. It’s boring. I guess the question is, which one do I hate the most?!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I can tell you why the wives aren’t especially sympathetic, if like me I had Charlie-horses through three pregnancies and no one even noticed. gmj

  7. Sherry Fisher says:

    Try being 8 months pregnant, where it would take a crane to get you out of bed!! You are stuck there, unable to get up and do the Spirit-moved-me-dance. Not a pretty thing at all~ just a lot of screaming and crying.

  8. blogprophet says:

    serves you right, not because you failed to stretch, but because you were crazy enough to run 3 miles in the first place.

  9. Brie says:

    Most of my exercise comes in the form of chasing after a 15 month old, which, while exhausting at times isn’t of an intensity that would produce a charlie horse.

    I do remember being a paranoid first time mom and sitting in childbirth class when they said “Don’t massage your legs when they hurt! You might throw a clot!” Luckily, Noah never made my legs hurt because he was too busy trying to crawl up through my ribcage. :)

  10. Anonymous says:

    After not running for awhile and starting back up with a long run, the next morning I know I’m in for it.
    I feel your pain, I usually keep getting them for the rest of the day.

  11. Jeanne M. says:

    Some medications can cause leg cramps, which is my problem. But the process is still the same – although I haven’t done much “dancing.” Walking, rubbing, walking, stomping, walking, rubbing – but finally putting my heel to the floor, and my toes up, the cramp gradually goes away. Oh, the relief!

  12. That Girl says:

    I love a good pain story.

    Last week, I decided I would run a little bit. I got about 200 yards from home and the piriformis muscle (yeah, I’m just that smart) seized up on me and I had to squeeze my left booty the entire was back home.

    What is wrong with a nice leisurely walk?

  13. jamie riley says:

    I’m a runner/cyclist (road bike) and I’m feeling your pain. It’s been a while since I’ve actually had a Charlie-horse, but I’ve had plenty – and their miserable.

    I have a mental picture of a 6’5” man dancing anytime and it’s not pretty, but half asleep, and in the early morning…YIKES! If your wife had seen it, she would probably still be recovering.

    Appreciate your blog bro…

  14. Anonymous says:

    you don’t sleep naked, do you?

  15. Mommysmart says:

    Ok, I am finding it difficult to get past your title without wanting to let you know that even a charlie-horse won’t excuse using a double negative in a sentence.

    Just kidding!!!

    Rocky used to get those after he played Saturday Hardin Simmons games. It never failed, we (several of the football players and their wives or girlfriends) would all be out at dinner in a nice restaurant and it would hit. He would stand straight up and scream. We would be so embarassed, but I don’t think that he could help it. YOu better start drinking more water after those runs.

    I think that next to tooth pain they are the worst!!!

  16. Stephanie says:

    There is nothing worse…..I have also found that eating a banana will help….along with stretching….keep up the good work…steph

  17. TREY MORGAN says:

    Monica … It’s from a quote in an old western movie. I believe Blazing Saddles. “We don’t need no stinking badges!”

  18. lisa says:

    Sorry, Trey, you don’t get no sympathy from me neither. I had horrible charlie-horses during all of my pregnancies … and did my husband wake up when I needed him?? No. My Nana’s pretty smart. I learned that the best thing to do was provide some resistance for the foot to push against and the cramp would go away a lot faster than jumping around and rubbing.

  19. preacherman says:

    I know how you feel.
    One of my side effects of GBS is Charlie Horses.

  20. David Kirk says:

    ouch already!

  21. Lightening says:

    I have NEVER heard of a “Charlie-horse” before?????

    Leg-cramp on the other hand – I had them BAD when I was pregnant.

  22. Margaret Cross says:

    what hurts the most is a “charlie horse of the brain” caused from people not “stretching” their minds and be willing to learn something new or having the desire to truly understand the other person’s point of view. I hope i never suffer from this. I hope i will have a desire to learn, learn, learn until the last breadth i take.:)

    thanks trey for the blog. i enjoy visiting here. this is part of my learning experience!

  23. Brie says:

    Yes, but what does kill you makes you dead.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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