Sometimes life seems to keep giving you more and more lemons, when all you want is a sweet, juicy orange. I'm used to "working with what I have" when it comes to exercising around my physiological quirks, but this past week has tested my patience and good humour severely.
First off, having a significant leg length discrepancy sucks. Just in case you were wondering. It makes my pelvis crooked and also encourages it to do a kind of twisty thing to boot. Not ideal when you're just walking down the street, let alone attempting to squat. The wonky pelvis causes my upper body to shift sideways in the opposite direction to balance me out, giving me a pronounced scoliosis of the thoracic spine and causing all sorts of issues with my shoulders and neck.
With the help of physiotherapists, osteopaths, podiatrists and a certain exercise physiologist, I've managed to correct or improve some of that over the past few years, and just work with the rest.
Then of course, thanks to my main job, which involves hours every day sitting at a desk tapping and clicking away at a computer, I've developed some chronic overuse injuries... I've chronicled some of the battles I've had with my right shoulder, but I also have issue in the left one plus bilateral tennis elbow and neck pain. More phsyio, special work equipment and corrective exercises are mostly preventing those getting any worse. I'm not sure there's actual improvement, but I live in hope.
All of this has seriously messed with my self-image over the past couple of years. I'm strong and fit and healthy, right? Um... *sigh*
I do have a plan. I've started seeing an osteopath again, and took myself off for a long overdue visit to a podiatrist a few weeks ago. Muscles are loosening up and new orthotics are on their way, and I was feeling pretty confident of making even more progress on the rehab front over the next few months.
So I didn't need something in my chest to go "PING!" whilst I was doing a rehab exercise, of all things, last week. With 2kg dumbbells... how demoralising. My physio has diagnosed an intercostal muscle strain and says it should right itself reasonably quickly. I hope so, because the sensation of someone sticking a skewer between my ribs every time I turn over in bed, click a Tupperware lid in place or do pretty much anything with my left arm is getting very old, very fast.
|Source: Wikimedia Commons|
On the positive side, this morning I did a couple of sets of lateral raises for the first time in - oh, about a year. Sure, I used weeny 2kg dumbbells, but I did them with good form and with no pain. And since my body fat is at a reasonable level, I could see muscles working; yay! It seems I do have some delts left... they may be a bit smaller than they used to be, but they haven't atrophied to nothing.
I'm finding the positives wherever I can. :o)