Thursday, November 03, 2016

Was Hoping for a Productive Week

I don't usually get a whole week off work, so when I realized I had 5 days without testings, PT appointments, or responsibilities in general, I was thrilled. The possibilities were endless!  I bugged Middle to choose some schools to visit.  I imagined all the extra martial arts I would be free to do. Finishing book 3 of Game of Thrones (4 and 5 are sitting in the corner, waiting). House projects, knitting, organization and decluttering, leisurely lunch with friends, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather outside....

Well, it's Thursday.  I've done pretty much none of those things.  I actually blew off several martial arts classes / lunches and spent much of this week at the house, in sweats or the hot tub, sleeping and vegging.  I have blogged, and I worked quite a bit on my shoulder with the ball and the chiropractor yesterday.  But other than my short visit with him, I have been downright antisocial, preferring peace and quiet and feeling irritated at the slightest intrusion.  Middle wound up not wanting a college tour this week, and I turned down an invitation for coffee with a friend. No house projects happened beyond the minimal level of maintenance. The most interesting culinary creation I've managed was tuna salad, which I ate in front of YouTube.

I've been in a state of Absolute Lazy, and the week is almost over.

On the other hand, I do have more mobility in my shoulder than I've had in ages, so maybe all that messing around with the lacrosse ball has done some good.  And I took 3 classes tonight (2 BJJ and 1 Judo), all of which felt really good. I spent some quality time with The Eldest before he headed to work. I tackled the unruly pile of mail and bills that was taking over my family room.

And I caught up on my sleep and relaxed and read in the hot tub.

Maybe a week of downtime was something I needed. I have a tendency to beat myself up if I'm not being productive all the time, and that's not always a good thing. Tomorrow is another free day and I could get a lot done if I'm motivated to do so.

Or maybe I'll take another day off.  It's nice to have the option.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Shoulder

In the course of 7 1/2 years of martial arts training, I have had aches and pains, broken digits and other injuries.  They last a few days to a few months, I push through them, and they get better.  It's a normal part of life, especially when I'm using new muscles and moving in new ways.  I take it all in stride, and if I need the ice pack or an occasional Aleve, it's no big deal.

It was no different about a year ago when my right shoulder started bothering me.  The thing I noticed first was that I had to modify the way I dressed and undressed.  Pulling a shirt or sports bra over my head the normal way locked up my shoulder and caused pain to shoot down my upper arm. Push ups and burpees hurt too. So I didn't do those things, I used a different maneuver to get out of my clothes, and I went on with my life.

Now, it's a year later. Other aches and pains and injuries have come and gone, but this one has persisted throughout.  With a ridiculously high insurance deductible, I was hesitant to seek help, but by summer, it was time.  I saw the chiropractor in June - he helped a little, then an orthopedic doctor in August.  He sent me to physical therapy. I took a break from JSD, Judo, and much of BJJ and spent roughly 6 hours per week for the next two months rehabilitating and strengthening the muscles surrounding my rotator cuff. The muscles were still hard and knotted, so I added regular trigger point massages as well - excruciating, but effective.  After a month, I still couldn't undress (or do push ups), so I went back to the ortho and he convinced me to do a cortisone shot.  It may have helped a little, but it didn't fix anything and I don't want another one.

Last week, I ended the PT.  They've done what they could, and I'm definitely stronger and have more mobility, but it's still not fixed, which is frustrating.  (Can't wait until I see the bill...)  I saw the chiropractor again today, and he agreed I'm stronger and have more mobility, but it's still not right and there was no adjustment he could do without risking making it worse.  So it's on me, the lacrosse ball,  the stretchy bands, the foam roller, the hot tub and the electric stim working on it every day.  Sometimes Savageman lends his thumbs, which can be nice as well.

I'm thinking it's going in the right direction, but so, so slowly. I've resumed most of my normal training schedule, modifying where needed. It sucks, but it is what it is.

I also turned 47 last week. Whether I like to admit it or not, I don't heal as quickly as I used to.  Finding the line between "Don't be a wuss" and "Don't be stupid; take care of your body" isn't as easy as it used to be.  I have to think long-term if I want to still be happily training years from now. Building on the strength I've gained at PT, maybe adding some regular yoga and keeping the daily stretching and massaging should all help.

On days like today, it felt good to read in the hot tub and eat leftover Halloween candy.  As long as I don't make it a habit.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

NaBloPoMo 2016

The goal is to blog something every day in November.

There was a moment of insanity when I actually considered doing NaNoWriMo again this year, but it passed quickly.  A 50,000 word novel is more pressure than I can handle in the next 30 days, although it would give me a convenient excuse to give myself a break from other challenges. BTDT in 2011, and it was a great experience, but I decided this wasn't the year for an encore. In reality, one blog post per day is an achievable goal, and an enjoyable way to reflect on life and where I'm at in this particular phase of it.

As usual, my focus will likely be on the joys and struggles of martial arts training.  One of my passions as a martial artist is outreach - I truly believe that everyone could benefit from some martial arts (or at least self-defense) training, and writing about it is certainly one way to reach out to others. Unfortunately, I'm also somewhat shy about sharing or promoting my musings, even with other martial artists who might enjoy and identify with my perspective.  So, I write primarily for myself, I try to be candid and honest, and I try to respect the privacy of those around me.  If you happen to have have come across this blog, I do hope you find some enjoyment or inspiration in it.  

A brief snapshot of my life on November 1, 2016:  My typical week is essentially split between part-time work doing psychometrics for a neuropsychology practice, running the (frustratingly cluttered and disorganized) home I share with my husband and 3 boys (ages 20, 17, and 13), and training in kickboxing and JSD at one school and Judo / BJJ at another.  At JSD, I'm a second-degree black belt with 7.5 years of training there.  At the other school, I've been training for almost 2 years.  I'm an orange belt in Judo (although AWOL from Judo class since probably July when I got serious about healing my shoulder injury) and a 1 stripe blue belt in BJJ.  This week, I have no work scheduled and I just finished physical therapy, so I'm enjoying some quiet time at home, soaking in the hot tub with the third Game of Thrones book, hanging from a pull-up bar and torturing the shoulder knots with a lacrosse ball, and doing general housework while listening to commentary regarding the most ridiculous election season in the history of humankind.

And, of course, writing.  I've forgotten how time consuming this can be!

Will do my best to keep up with it this month.