As a result, my hamstrings were weak.
So was my core. All that tennis and lifting and basketball had created scar tissue everywhere, especially in my shoulder. My range of motion was deplorable. Sheehy prescribed an extensive physical-therapy routine. For an hour and a half every other day, I was in the gym doing negatives on the adductor machine, quivering through bridges, and using resistance bands for external shoulder rotations and air squats. The whole thing was embarrassing. It was easy to feel superior to the guy slowly pedaling the stationary bike or holding goofy poses on the blue mats.
Now I was one of them. At one point, I was doing a second shoulder stretch every 30 minutes during my waking hours. When we went on vacation, I did my strange routine in hotel rooms, a stiff, wobbly something man in his undershirt squatting and stretching.
My two young daughters thought it was hilarious to watch. It probably was. It was also frustrating. I felt like I was losing ground, not gaining it. Explosive power, endurance, muscle mass — all dissipated by the day. According to Goldberg, I was having a common response.
Rather, once athletes have mourned their loss, they need to focus on rehabilitation, on turning their attention forward in a productive fashion, and on setting new, realistic goals. In my case, as the months passed I found the rehab work becoming more bearable, even gratifying at times. I began biking more and getting out into the hills. Newly aware of the toll of sitting on my butt all day, I added a standup desk to my home office and began walking during long phone calls rather than slouching in a chair.
When I did have to sit, I tried to assume better posture. Meanwhile, every month when I went back to see Sheehy, he gave me new exercises: planks, side planks, serratus pushups, prone Ys for shoulder-blade strength. By month seven, I was making clear progress. My shoulder had loosened up.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Muscoskeletal and Skin Diseases is incredibly informative on a number of fronts, including a great amount of information on sports injuries and what you can expect. Methodist Center for Sports Medicine: Common Injuries The Methodist Center for Sports Medicine goes in-depth on providing advice for all sorts of different injuries that commonly result from sports. At first, I tried the time-honored technique of ignoring it. As time goes on, sports are becoming safer for those involved, but it is still very crucial to read up on injuries and how to prevent them. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web.
I was moving some serious weight on the adductor machine. I planked like a madman. As in better than before. I was lighter, and stronger through the middle. I felt better proportioned and livelier. I had a new appreciation for my body and what I could do with it. Goldberg notes that this is a common phenomenon in patients who recover from injuries. He tells the story of a competitive swimmer who had shoulder surgery and missed nearly the whole season but lowered his time when he returned for the end-of-season championships.
The increase in his leg strength outweighed the decrease in his shoulder strength. For the first time, and as a direct result of his injury, he valued what he had. Most athletes focus on pushing themselves to do more. We lose the appreciation of the dance. Fast-forward to the present day. At age 40, I love the process. I feel healthier than I have in a long time. I intend to do planks and squats and shoulder stretches the rest of my life. I wonder what I might have been able to prevent.
Metzl tore a knee ligament while in med school. To learn more about his body. That 10 minutes of targeted shoulder exercises a week might save him years of pain. That sitting on a chair all day was shaving hours off his life and weakening his legs. To put down the dumbbells and get off the bench press once a week and try something different.
Science tells us that our muscle mass decreases each year, that we lose fast-twitch fiber, that our bone mass diminishes. Sports psychologist Alan Goldberg, EdD, offers some strategies for dealing with an injury.
click He lives in Berkeley, Calif. Your email address will not be published.
Sports injuries are commonly caused by overuse, direct impact, or the application of force that is greater than the body part can structurally. Why sports writer Chris Ballard (almost) wishes he'd been injured years earlier “We don't live in a culture that encourages that sort of gratitude,” says Goldberg.
City and state are only displayed in our print magazine if your comment is chosen for publication. I am 39 and just returned to running after 20 odd years. Thanks heaps, Chris. Your story inspired me to recovery from major knee surgery. Thanks for providing me a glimpse of hope. I will take one day at time towards recovery and get myself a new goal in getting fit and healthy. Cheers and more power! Tight hamstrings can limit your freedom of movement and increase your risk of injury. There are two distinctive tendon injuries: tendonitis and tendinosis.
Knowing the difference can help you heal the damage a lot faster. After a devastating accident left her paralyzed, dancer Nicole Marquez channeled her energy into rehabilitation and reimagining her dreams. Go ahead and be sad — at least at first. Then, maintain a positive attitude. Once you shake off your feelings of sadness and loss, an optimistic outlook will speed the healing process while decreasing the emotional pain. Accept it and move forward. Set new goals for yourself. Take an active part in your healing. The only person who loses when you loaf is you.
Continue to practice and work out. Seek out the support of your teammates. Show up to that rec-league hoops game just for the camaraderie.
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