If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s only YOU truly know your body. Albeit, sometimes we know we should stop and push it past our limits, other times we fear going close to our max and under-perform. My doctor finally cleared me for “everything” on January 7th and, I have to admit, I’m pretty skeptical. For my off skates workouts,I had been lifting a max of 5-10lbs on my injured arm and began to add weight on, 15lbs, and dove back into pushups. I did ease myself into blocking and boy did the first hit or two that I took in my shoulder HURT. It’s a constant mental vs physical battle, is this PAIN pain or pain from being sedentary/restricted use in this limb? I am happy that I tried to stay active when possible and that I got back on skates when I was comfortable and even though I’m skeptical of the return, I tried to face the fear rather than to feed it.
So to sum, the lessons I’ve learned this far:
1. Listen to your body
2. Listen to your DR
3. Stay active when possible
4. Know your body and ease into things
5. Don’t feed the fear
I wrote this workout for a teammate, so I figured I’d share:
1 min jog in place
1 min squats
1 min back lunges
1 min jumping jacks
1 min plank
15 squat jumps
15 split jumps
1 minute plank
30 sec side plank lifts, each side. (Side plank and lift hips up and down)
30 sec bicycles
30 sec toe and finger touches (flat on back, lift toes and fingers to touch and slowly release back to ground, the hardest part will be closer to the ground, engage abs)
30 sec crunches
Here’s a view of the 4 Xrays from the first one to the most recent, 9/8, 10/3, 11/12, 1/7:
It’s been a long 17 weeks from breaking my collarbone during our home team Season Opener in September.
Initial Break – September 8, 2012
I’m not sure if I shot myself in the foot because I came in determined to NOT have surgery, since there would be NO chance of being healed for WFTDA Eastern Playoffs or WFTDA Champs, if we advanced. I was also initially hopeful, lots of internet research showed 6-10 weeks for recovery time. The first week was hell. I “slept” a lot and tried to limit any movement. And by “slept” I mean entering in and out of consciousness throughout the day and night. Any little movement was excruciating and I couldn’t lay on my back, on my side, on my stomach; I had to sleep sitting up with two large pillows to prop me up and a pillow under my left arm to prop my arm in place to take some pressure off of my arm hanging down. Pretty sure I didn’t take a shower for two days, and mind you, that is with post bout derby stank. Walking involved hunching as far forward as possible to take the pressure off the broken bone, pretty sure it didn’t help. After the first week, the pain subsided greatly but inflammation was still apparent so only anti-inflammatories were needed for the following week. Exercising was still painful and I wasn’t able to lift my shoulder so I remained pretty confined and limited in what I could do. I returned to skating in mid to late October, non contact open skates and Tuesday speed practices away from any potential contact.
Following WFTDA Championships, I had my 2nd Doctor’s appointment and was really excited for good news since it was past the 10 week mark for the normal healing time for this injury. Once the x-ray popped up on the screen, my jam dropped and so did my high expectations and hope but according to the Doctor it was “progress.” The x-ray, to the naked uninformed eye, looked exactly the same, no bone growth and same position. There was, however, evidence of a callus forming.
Follow Up Appointment 12-12-12
Wait and come back in the new year. That was the consensus, with no projected date of return. It was a true test of my patience. I did leave with some permission to do “anything that didn’t hurt.” I could now work on full range of motion and light strength exercises, light weights, bike riding, planks. It wasn’t until mid December that I actually started to feel some significant callus growth, possible bone growth??? So, I go into my next Doctor appoint hopeful for good news and a relatively soon return and nervous for bad news and a diagnosis of wait it out till who knows when.
Today I coached my first All Star practice back after the off season and we held our interest meeting for skaters wanting to join the team. Practice was great, it was a perfect blend of skills to knock off the cobwebs and brush up on some basics while breaking a sweat. I decided to run today’s practice similar to our couple of practices after the WFTDA Championships, heavy on footwork, edges and blocking technique. I also threw in some endurance and a bunch of plow and hockey stops. I’m still not blocking, waiting on the clearance from my Dr., so I participated in the footwork, endurance and stops and helped give feedback on the blocking and edge work. We had a huge turnout since this Sunday practice was labeled “advance skills” and opened up to the league and the skaters really pushed themselves. I see a huge drive this season from vets and All Stars alike to improve their individual game, something that hasn’t been so prevalent. Most of our skaters aren’t comfortable just staying at the same level anymore and I love it when I see them pushing themselves to try new things and those light bulbs going off in their heads when something clicks. I skirt a fine line in my coaching philosophy between making people just DO IT and getting them to think about the technical aspects of how they’re undertaking a skill, to improve efficiency. All in all, many blisters were earned and everyone looked genuinely happy to be back and be pushed.
Following the practice we had a lengthy information meeting for the 2013 season, that included current All Stars and interested parties. Both Pain, my co-captain, and myself were really taken aback by the sheer turnout of skaters who wanted to be a part of the team. In the past we’ve had a lot of mixed emotions about working hard, playing competitive and being a part of the team. In fact, not once did we actually PICK a roster for our All Star games, any of them! That’s a funny and scary tid-bid. But our skaters seem generally stoked on stepping up their game. It’s going to be a great season, I can’t wait!