Archive for December, 2009

Sick as a dog

Swineflu? Who knows since the doc wouldn’t test for it since I am not in the high risk group… But I am surely down for the count no matter what foul stuff has invaded me…


Down in the well

Climbing was a revelation when I discovered it this spring. For the first time since  I was a teenager I had found something that was exciting in itself, but also capable motivating me to train hard. And because time is a limited commodity, I found it also helped me get more structure in my life.

Then this injury struck. At first I thought it would pass in a week or two. It didn’t. And when the problems persisted, and I could not climb, I lost the motivation to do anything. I have been fairly far down in the well, and felt very dark. It didn’t help that the pain in my elbows made it impossible for me to work as well, so I was at home, getting caught up in gloomy and negative thoughts.

Lately I have been able to gradually pull myself back up to at least a semblance of normality, and this Wednesday I finally got to see a physical therapist with the experience and background to be able to help me. And that he did.

As it turns out, it is a 2 part problem, and my elbows are symptoms of the problem, not the root. Which is good news. I have some tendon damage in my elbows, but it is not as severe as I and my doctor believed. The root of the problem however lies in my shoulders. I can’t remember the name of the muscle (I will ask my physical therapist next session) but it is apparently not strong enough to handle the demands of hard climbing. What follows is over compensation in other areas (arms) and voila, tendon damage and chronic pain in elbows and shoulders.

I have been given exercises to aid the healing process in my tendons, as well as strengthening the particular underdeveloped shoulder muscle. After 2 days, it is clear that this particular muscle is indeed just plain weak. It will take a lot of work to get it up to snuff, but with climbing on the horizon yet again (not to mention the brighter days that the snow brings) my motivation is rising.

Monday I will start running again, and it will be the only training I do apart from my prescribed exercises until my elbows are healed and my shoulders are strong enough to handle the work.

This experience has not been pleasant, but I have learned quite a few things about myself (and by my absence here, so have you), and I will use these lessons to avoid the well in the future. What does not kill us makes us stronger and all that crap, I guess. No doubt it will be a struggle to work hard when climbing is still a ways off, perhaps months, but I am yet again determined to do the work. Perhaps it will even be a blessing in disguise. More on that later.