It's interesting how fast perspective can shift when one's situation is altered. Each time I get the clearance to do a new exercise it's the highlight of my day. Mobility or strengthening - doesn't matter - it's all the same level of exciting to me right now. Some weeks it seems like I'm making huge leaps and bounds, and then I'm faced with something like starting my car, and while I can contort enough to get my right hand to the ignition, it certainly isn't as comfortable as the awkward left hand around the steering wheel reach I've become accustomed to.
But we focus on the little victories, because that's where real progress happens anyway.
Outside of the sphere that revolves around healing this shoulder, I've been productive. More work on a book, the app is nearly ready (we have to film videos for the exercises and then we're live), and we're officially an LLC with a bank account and everything. Growing up. There's also song writing going on, my good friend Jeff helped me (well, did the work while I supervised) build garage doors for my garage, and we got our gardens in this weekend. I've started a series of new paintings as well (which I can do as long as they are around waist level on a table) that will be showing and available for purchase in Lander this summer during the International Climbers Festival. We ordered a new run of hoodies, tees, and tanks, which will be posted up soon (provided they don't go out the door so fast again that I don't have a chance). I'm just starting to study for the NSCA Certified Personal Trainer exam, along with my friend Sarah Rottenberger, who I've been teaching my training system to. She'll be joining Power Company Climbing as a trainer, and helping me to write training plans via the new app. She'll also be joining me for clinics, as she's extremely good at working with climbers (you may have guessed it, but I tend to be a bit blunt for most people's taste, so Sarah tempers that a fair amount).
But more on all of that later. Right now you just want to hear the slow details of the recovery.
It's actually a considerably fast version of slow. Slow, as in, I wish I were just ready to climb NOW. Fast, as in, everyday brings new small gains to get excited about.
Mobility-wise I'm slightly ahead of the curve or right on the peak of it in all aspects. This means that I still have a long way to go before I can hang from a jug directly overhead, but it certainly provides some motivation.
The photo above was actually taken at more like 48 days, but you get the point. I may have a few more degrees since then, but it's slow going.
Strength-wise I'm even more excited, which can be a problem. I'm definitely ahead of the norm here, in the sense that the first time I'm allowed to try a new movement without assistance, I can already do it no problem, and usually with a fair bit of resistance. I am just into the phase where I am able to use light resistance bands, and will soon be able to start moving with weight, but I don't dare push too far at this point, for fear of tearing out a repair. Too much of a good thing, you know?
Besides the normal shoulder work, I've recently started adding some general fitness things back into the routine. I've happily added finger rolls with dumbells to fight back the forearm atrophy, though since my shoulder still has to support the weight, they are relatively lighter weight, higher reps. Much of what I can do is limited by the fact that the shoulder is so damned important to moving the body in ANY way. Pistol squats, very light curls (VERY light), lots of core work with ankle weights, some one armed deadlifting, and even jump squats if I do them in brief bursts, are my staples right now.
Since my diet has basically gone to shit as of late, and was always one of my weakest areas to begin with, I've worked out a trade with friend of the Power Company, Aicacia Young with Climb Healthy, to help me out and give me nutrition advice. Right now she's probably pulling her hair out sifting through my ridiculous cupcake and ice cream cravings, as well as my terrible eating habits, or more precisely, my forgetting to eat habits, unless it involves sugar. More on that as we get into the process, but if you don't already know about Aicacia, revisit the guest blog post she wrote for us a while back, and check out this podcast interview from Chalk Talk. She's got an incredibly sensible and practical approach to nutrition that I really appreciate.
In a couple of weeks I'll hit the halfway mark between surgery and being able to climb again (assuming I'm cleared to do so by the doc and my therapist). Looking forward to being able to count down instead of up.