Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Musings: on Purpose & Commitment

THE SURGERY to my bicep caused some nerve damage. There's numbness in the forearm which hasn't gone away. I thought it was the anaesthetic just taking it's time to dissipate, but the surgery was February 1st, so I guess not.

That was my second operation. The first was to my right shoulder. The cartilage tore at the 2012 amateur national championships, in Queensland. Early the next year a surgeon shaved down the torn cartilage and put a Kevlar screw in the humeral ball. I like that shoulder better than my left shoulder. Late 2015 I sustained partial tears to the rotator cuff tendons in that one, and the bursitis was discovered when the tears were diagnosed. I am guessing the tears healed and it's just the bursitis that bothers me now, when I press. Also when I sleep. I have a special pillow I put under my shoulder.

It was during the rehab of the rotator cuff tears that I noticed a protrusion in my abdomen when I would engage my midsection. This was diagnosed a diastasis recti; basically a precursor to a hernia. I call it Quaid. Quaid doesn't bother me because I don't pay him much attention. But I wear my lever belt a little higher when I squat now, to keep him in.

September 2016 I tore both my quadriceps at the GPC Perth cup. Not major tears, fortunately. I got pretty good at stiff-legged deadlifts while I was rehabbing those.

Through 2012 through '15, my knees used to sometimes fill with fluid when I'd squat heavy. They don't do that anymore, I'm happy to say. But they are arthritic now. I've found that squatting fortnightly instead of weekly allows enough time for them to recover. I need to sleep with a pillow under my knees too.

Now I have three labrum tears; one in the right shoulder, and one in each hip. The right hip I tore a little bit back in early 2013 while squatting a cambered bar with my arm in a sling (ten days after surgery, in fact), and the left one I did a few weeks ago, in late June. Also while doing squats. Also using a cambered bar. Go figure.

I fractured my right ankle in two places and severed a tendon in one of my fingers while moving a loaded bar from one bench to another, in April 2016. 'It's only 120-something kilos,' I thought to myself, 'I've picked and carried heaver things than that.' I didn't consider the step.

There are other injuries and ailments I can list which aren't related to strength training. As a kid I broke my arm skateboarding and got a lump on my head from stacking it on a water slide. Both incidents required surgery. I also have sleep apnoea; a condition that went undiagnosed for many years and that I would have now, to some extent, regardless of what I do. But the vast majority of the injuries I have sustained in my life have occurred since I committed to getting strong.

So, taking stock of all this, do I regret making this commitment? Hell, no. I wish I'd started sooner. I wish I'd been doing this in my teens, my twenties. I wish I hadn't started at thirtyish, as a morbidly obese alcoholic and smoker. I wish I'd had what I have now, then. But I cannot reverse time, I can only fill it with purpose.

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