Friday, May 10, 2013

Hips, Shoulders, Knees and Woes

My left side is my preferred side, and has always been stronger than my right. I'm a southpaw who swings a bat like a right-hander because it feels more natural when the left arm is leading the movement. This left-side dominance has become more significant as my training has progressed. My right side is suffering injuries because it simply isn't as strong, flexible or capable as the left. The shoulder injury has exascerbated this disparity. My right hip and knee are also experiencing problems now.

Boohoo, everything is fucking breaking. But that's no reason to quit. Well... some day it may be, when I'm over 40 and I've won Australia's Strongest Man at least once. The important thing is that I come back stronger and never, ever stop training.

I have, in truth, almost lost my way a couple of times. Post-op I was depressed and had thoughts of quitting. But I did not. I kept on, doing whatever I could, working around the right arm and shoulder, just as I had done leading up to the surgery. My squat and my DB OHP got stronger, but I couldn't press a bar, axle or log, do any other Strongman events, or even deadlift in this time. Talk about taking all the fun out of it...

So now, faced with the likelihood of another surgery, I am feeling generally more positive than I was the first time around. At least this time I can still deadlift. I can row, press, and do events. The only thing I can't do is squat. And if I have to quit squatting for 6 months, I won't be nearly as perturbed as I was at having to quit deadlifting for 6 months!

This perspective leads me to question why I should let any injury get the best of me mentally...
I never before got a lumber strain which made me think I should quit lifting. Why should a hip or knee complaint make me want to quit squatting? Is it because I don't like the squat as much as the deadlift? Am I just looking for a reason to quit? No, I'm not a quitter (except when I am; it's all about context), that's not it.

Just as my shoulder is now coming back, and will be stronger and better than before, so will my hip. It may take the rest of the year. It may mean I am limited in some aspects of training. But, unless the powers that be decide this year's ASM is all about the squat, it won't stop me competing.

The lessons we learn from the experiences we have make us the people we are. And I am a Strongman.

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