A Grave Disservice

I’ve been working with some dumbbells trying to strengthen my arms so that I can get Sunshine to turn me into an archer of sorts. It’s been a learning process for sure.

We thought I needed to strengthen my core to help with my COPD. These dumbbells have taught me that my core is not as weak as I thought it was. It could use some help, but it isn’t the problem. My arms are the problem.

I had this auto accident back in the late 90s that broke T1, my clavicle, and cut off several fingers. The level 1 trauma center that treated me was so concerned about head injuries and saving the fingers that I didn’t even know I had cracked a vertebra until I took a discharge summary to a chiropractor for help with the stiffness in my neck. The hospital staff also didn’t know who they were dealing with and just gave me some standard broken bone instructions for the clavicle.

Of course I didn’t follow the broken bone instructions, and I wound up with a weak left side because the broken clavicle healed all wonky.

I have muscles in my arm, shoulder, and neck that are telling me all the kinds of idiot I was for not following doctor’s orders and for not following through on physical therapy after my hospital stay. I feel tendons and muscles screaming at me every time I start using those dumbbells.

I thought my time as a stagehand had given me strong arms and shoulders. It did, on the right side of my body. However, it turns out that I was overusing my core when I was pulling and coiling cables, lifting road cases, and all that other shit I was doing at work.

It’s going to be a process to rehab my left side, and a lot of it is going to suck. But for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, I feel more in touch with my physical body. I feel the changes after just a week or so of this dumbbell phase of my archery training.

I wish I could go back and kick my twenty-something-year-old self in the ass. Of course, that isn’t possible, so I guess I’ll have to just keep moving forward. And stock up on the NSAIDs. Because I hurt.

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