Its been 4 weeks since my last surgery so I thought it would be a good idea to review my progress.
Going in to surgery, I had expectations that rehab would be difficult, I knew I would have to let go of the training and I knew I would have to just be patient and let nature do what it needs to do, I knew I there would be good days and bad days and days when I felt like throwing in the towel. But knowing something intellectually and doing it for real are totally different things.
Physically, its been very much a case of 1 step forward and two steps back. My shoulders are slowly improving I’m now working with therabands to strengthen my rotator cuff and I’m allowed to do rows, bicep curls and tricep kickbacks, so the static part of the rehab, in theory, is coming along quite well. However I’m still in constant pain – doing rows pulls the front of my shoulders, I get pain at the top of my bicep tendon when doing the curls and I’m supposed to be doing ‘push ups’ standing up against the wall, but any sort of upwards pressure is too sore . Day to day dynamic movements are also a source of consternation, for example, stretching to fill a cup of water from the tap, cleaning teeth, drying my hair, typing at the computer, any sort of lifting – plates, shopping, the kettle – anything that even comes close to involving engagement of my anterior delts feels like its tearing them. Any sudden movement causes crunching and shooting pains all the way down to my finger tips. I can’t sleep on my side because it presses on the shoulder joint, or on my front because I can’t use my arms to push upwards.
In addition to the shoulders, the physio suggested I work with the sports doc as well to co-ordinate my rehab. So having seen the sports doc 2 weeks ago and mentioned a few other painful parts, I was promptly sent off to have ultrasounds on my hammies and elbows – in for a penny in for a pound!
The results of the ultrasounds have not been good – slight tearing of the hammy tendons and tearing and bleeding in my elbows, so blood injections and acupuncture look like they’re going to become a regular feature along with the physio.
Scratch bicep curls, squats, lunges, plyometrics, leg curls, and any sort of presses from my training. In fact I’ve pretty much had to scratch training altogether, I’m reduced to walking, leg extensions, abs and calves – not much to be trying to building a comp prep around and once I start with the blood injections I won’t be able to do anything at all!!
Needless to say, its getting a little frustrating – I’m really missing being able to train – walking the 6 km to work doesn’t quite cut it in my book and I certainly dont count it as training!
Physically I’m a bit of a mess, but physical issues are easy to deal with – it just takes time and patience. What I’m finding tougher is the mental side of this…and I have to admit, that in this respect, I’m really struggling.
theres that little voice, you know the one, the one that creeps up on you and chips away at your belief and confidence…
whats the point of doing this? why bother? everyone else will have had 9 months to work on their pyhsiques and I haven’t, I’ll be so much smaller than everyone else, they’ll look so much better than me, I’m not going to have enough time to put on any mass, I’m not going to be ready in time, I wasn’t big enough last year so I’m definitely not going to be big enough now, I’ll be even further behind than last year, what if it takes another 3 months for my shoulders to be ready? what if the surgery doesn’t fix them? what if my hamstrings don’t fix…
at what point do I admit defeat and quit…
its noisy in there!
it also doesn’t help when I read daily reports from my would be competition saying how they ‘smashed legs/back/chest today’, ‘did a deadlift pb’, ‘felt the burn’, had an ‘awesome session’ it all adds to the feelings of inadequacy, failure, envy and a growing sense that this years comps are beginning to slip away…
But as anyone who does this sport knows, you have to be tough, disciplined and strong mentally as well as physically, and I have a choice. I can choose to lay down, be the victim and let this get the better of me – I can let the voice win, or I can choose to hang in there, ride it out and keep going.
I will not quit. Some days its a real battle, I have to keep telling myself that this is just a temporary thing, and it will get better. I have to remind myself thats it’s only 4 weeks since my surgery and to focus on the progress I have made.
I remind myself how well I’m doing with my eating plan and how I’m leaning down at a perfect rate of 0.25-0.5kg a week, thats with hardly any exercise – what I’m learning about my body will be invaluable when it comes round to real comp prep.
A friend advised me to use my time well and become a student of the sport – and thats exactly what I’m doing. Next week is the ANB Getting the Edge workshop - which I’m really looking forward to. Getting advice and tips from Lindy Olsen? Yeah, thats going to be good!
I’m practicing my posing (symmetry and legs only!), I’m studying nutrition for sports performance, I’m planning my routine and maybe even a new ‘look’ to go along with my new bikini’s from Jo
so I’m hanging in there and taking it easy, just like the doc ordered…and hoping that soon enough it’ll be one step forward then another step forward…then maybe a lunge…
I could get used to these lie-ins, though! :-)