Monday, September 05, 2016

End of Summer / It Sucks to be Broken

First of all, I've had a lovely summer.

Savageman is once again employed, but we had a good 5 months of downtime together while he was in the process of making the change.  Although I was working part-time myself, (still doing neuropsych evals), and of course training, training, training, we had some genuine quality time together to reconnect and refocus, which was really nice.  He started doing yoga at my BJJ school, then added some classes at the Y as well, and I joined him, so we were even able to train at something together.  We did some good house and yard projects, and just enjoyed each other's company for a while.  Very grateful for so much quality time.

The boys were all around for summer vacation, all happy and doing their individual activities and jobs.  Two weeks ago, Middle and Not-So-Little headed off to 12th and 8th grade, and the same week the Eldest and Savageman started their new jobs.  I went from having everyone home to being alone with the pets in the house on the days I'm not working or training.  Soooooo quiet.

We had a nice week with my parents in NC last month, which was lovely as always.  The Eldest brought his Beloved, who we enjoy very much, and we all had a good time at the beach and enjoying the house and the pool and the hot tub.  Emphasis on the hot tub.

It is no exaggeration to say I spent the majority of my waking hours in the hot tub, reading Game of Thrones and letting the jets drill into my derpy shoulder, which has become increasingly derpy over the last 6 months or so. What started out as a minor annoyance I noticed last November ("Hmmm, it hurts to pull my shirt over my head... oh well, it will go away") has turned into The Thing That Will NOT Go Away, despite months of simply ignoring it, popping a few Aleve, slapping on an ice pack or electric stim and going on with my life.  This usually works, and I generally have a high tolerance for these periodic injuries.  But this has gone way beyond the limit for a minor annoyance.  I'm guessing something in the rotator cuff region of my right shoulder has been torn or badly injured and is not getting better.  Although the hot tub certainly helped more than anything else had.

I went to the doctor when I got back, and he sent me to PT, where I am now spending several hours, 3 days per week, relearning how to use my shoulder muscles, which are officially F**ked Up. To fix this, of course they have to work on my back and my posture, and not just the weak arm.  Going through my regimen of back and shoulder exercises, I was surprised at how resentful I felt toward the process, the friendly staff, the situation in general.  Not at all my usual positive self, more like a demoralized teenager being forced to do PT for posture issues against her will. Oh wait....

Having acknowledged the understandable resistance from the still-deeply-wounded-girl-within, I'm doing my best to embrace the process, realizing that in the long run, I'm better off addressing and fixing the problems and strengthening the weak places that probably resulted in the injury in the first place. I've had to back off on the intensity of the training so that I don't do more damage while we're straightening it all out. Hopefully, this will work and I won't need surgery, which is looming out there as Plan B. I'm doing my best to nurture the Surly Girl within, being kind and understanding with her and treating her with things she likes.

One of these things is time to relax and read in the hot tub.  I recently acquired a hand-me-down from the Guru - it is my new favorite place to hide out with my book and my phone and a beverage.  I've created a nice area for it next to our backyard patio and it has been simply lovely to soak and read and heal surrounded by the birds and crickets and flowers and sunshine.  I'm on the second book in the Game of Thrones series - the first fiction I've read in years - and it's an enjoyable diversion. Watching parts of the TV series with the Guru has been fun as well - we've broken up the training this summer with that (and some other, more comedic video entertainment) while healing from our respective injuries and hardships of life. Grateful as always for his time and friendship, both of which have been plentiful this spring and summer.

Injuries aside, we've covered a lot of ground BJJ-wise, and he's been an invaluable asset to me as I've been given so much more teaching responsibility at BJJ this summer. I'm now filling in when needed for the GirlCoach, teaching the women's sport BJJ class and self-defense classes.  Although I've been assisting with children's classes since I was a white belt, this summer I've had a few opportunities to actually run children's class.  At a time when my own BJJ performance is kind of sucky, (blaming the injury because I can), it's reassuring to know that my coaches still find me valuable as an instructor, if not a fierce competitor.

I did compete at the Keystone State Games in July.  It was a last-minute decision, when a teammate found herself in a bracket of much bigger, younger opponents, I jumped in so she could have a fair shot at winning.  Which she did - she beat me 2-0. It was okay, though - she got gold, I got silver, and we both had a good experience and no injuries.  It reminded me that I still have much to learn, though, and I've been trying to get my head back in the game.

Priority One is to fix my arm.  There is a lot I can't do, or I've been doing badly because I'm so weak on that side now.  My PT has expressed an interest in learning more about both BJJ and kickboxing so that he will know what kinds of motions I need to do and can help me do them correctly.  I think that's pretty cool of him.  Priority Two is to get my butt back into class, even if I'm not rolling live, so I can at least stay on top of the techniques and keep to my regular routine.  Last week I blew off multiple classes at both schools and then wound up running 1.7 miles yesterday just to get my blood pumping.  One can only lounge in the hot tub so many hours.  Priority Three is to get back to learning outside of class again.  August was the first month that I did very little reading, watching instructional videos, or technique nerding with the Guru, and I need to get back to these things.

So I have a plan - we'll see if I can get the momentum going again this fall.  In the meantime, sleep....

No comments: