Friday, January 4, 2013

Rehab Anew

This is KStar. He is my boss. He is also the man behind Doesn't he look nice? Ha. Ha. Ha. He likes to keep that pretty smile on that pretty face while simultaneously making you squirm and possibly cry because you've wrecked your body up pretty bad and he'll be damned if he lets you leave his office without getting some of that shit worked out.

All the while saying "You did this to yourself!"

I've experienced the KStar pain on several occasions. I've left sympathetic system sweat angels on the ground from him working out knots in quads, triceps, and calves. Yesterday, I got a different dose of KStar pain.

That pretty smile still plastered on that pretty face ripped into me for my lack of effective shoulder therapy. You should have full range of active motion by now! You should be pressing a 5lb dumbbell by now. Three weeks since surgery? Way behind. You're friends with one of the top athlete physical therapists in the world and I'm only now talking to you? What gives?

But my insurance PT says blah blah blah.

Your PT is used to working with couch potatoes who don't know a damn thing about their body. By next week I expect to see x, y, and z from you.

So with my tail tucked between my legs, I shuffle back to my car, grap my mobility back from home and take the ManFriend to my other gym and get to work.

I hope no one out there actually thinks that KStar is a mean guy. He's one of the nicest, most exuberant, intelligent people out there. I love working for the guy, I love picking his brain and learning from him. He's created a fantastic environment for both athletes and coaches. But he also gives tough love, and honestly, I think that's what I was looking for.

So now that I've been given permission to endure a little discomfort, and given a sort of program to work with, I feel far more in control of my recovery than before. As an athlete and coach, it's a little disheartening when a therapist basically says "just do A, B, and C until I see you next." It puts no power in the hands of the recoveree. (That's a word, seriously.)

I already feel better.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Down Time = Athletic Introspection

Post surgery, being forced to do these "silly" but necessary range-of-motion stretches and back/scapula control work, I have some time to think about what I really want to be as an athlete.

1) I love being strong, but I hate being a specialist.
2) I miss the self expression of the performing arts.
3) I definitely have a vanity aspect to my training wants.
4) I miss having the conditioning to do most things well.

So, once all my rehab is done and I'm back to full on psycho-Newman-style training potential, I'm definitely going to keep competing in Olympic lifting. Thing is, I'll never be able to NOT be competitive in something. The rush is too great. The camaraderie is too great.

I just won't be a specialist at it.

Jumping in to CrossFit classes at UB have been so much fun. I don't think I'll ever fall for CrossFit whole hog again, like I did as a martial artist, but following the CrossFit Football protocol, short and heavy, makes me really happy.

And I miss performance. Sure, at 31, nearly 32, there aren't going to be any opportunities for such things, but at least taking a dance class once a week, and a static trapeze class once or twice a week, will hopefully fill that need. And many schools offer recital-style performance opportunities for their students of any age and level. Hell yeah, I'd do that.

Goals during recovery:

1) Just be able to lift my right arm independently through a full range of motion, and eventually, regain proper control of my scapula to heal the current and prevent future impingements and resulting tendon shearing injuries.

2) Once I can move my arm but before I can do weight training, start taking dance classes again. Regain a level of flexibility that I haven't seen since judo.

3) When I can start body weight work, start back to sprints, calisthenics, and plyometrics and HIIT training.

4) Long Term - Compete in the 2013 American Open, which will be held in Dallas, TX. Maybe my family can finally watch me compete in person, rather than through YouTube.