Finding my weakness


Marines pull-up for America's birthday

Marines pull-up for America’s birthday (Photo credit: United States Marine Corps Official Page)

My shoulders.   This is where I drew the inspiration for this title.

About 10 years ago, I was playing city-league softball when I landed on my stiff-arm in the outfield trying to make a play.   Popped right out.   Actually, it was a sublexation, but whatever it really was, it didn’t pop right back in again.  Went to the emergency room, waited what felt like hours before finally being asked, “Do you want to do this the hard way or the easy way?”.   By this time the pain had built to a fantastic level and I was all about the easy way – morphine.

Once it was administered I began having waking-dreams, coming-to while babbling some nonsense and then fading away again.   I came-to with relief when I realized my shoulder didn’t hurt anymore – it was back in.

A week later, I fell short of sliding face-first into home plate and landed on my other stiff-arm – this time though, it popped right back in.

For neither occasion did I seek any kind of Physical Therapy.   I didn’t exercise and my softball days were pretty much behind me.

Fast-forward to my mid-life crisis, health-crazed fitness/diet zealotry…

When I first lost weight and first started running, I heard about adventure racing and, specifically, Spartan Races.   I wanted to be a Spartan.. who the bloody hell doesn’t want to be a freaking Spartan???  So I joined the recreation center and began working out.   From what I gathered looking at Spartan Spring videos, there would be plenty of climbing involved and pulling yourself along with ropes over walls and across obstacles.   No problem – I need to do pull-ups.

That’s when my old injuries re-acquainted themselves to me.   Lowering myself on the pull-up apparatus, I felt it immediately; my shoulders were slipping out of socket.   It was like a snapping feeling as it separated and I wasn’t able to get myself up more than half-way, and that, with a bunch of pain.   This wasn’t going to work, at all.

Well, better late than never, I signed up and completed six months of Physical Therapy.   I learned all the exercises and quickly abandoned all of them again once my six months was up.

Now I’m back at it.   Back in the gym for a month now, working shoulders, chest, biceps, back (upper) and lats.   I’m about to jump weight by about five pounds but I’m also adding new exercises.   Just holding ten pound dumb-bells and lifting them up directly in front of me is challenging.   Equally challenging is lifting them up out to the sides.

I found my weakness.

Now I can add and experiment more to find other exercises that can exploit those weaknesses, and strengthen them… catch them up to the rest of me.

I will be a Spartan yet, just you wait.


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