Almost a year ago to the day I had a Grade 3 shoulder separation from a cycling accident. My biggest concern wasn’t loss of strength; I could work out to get it back. It wasn’t pain either; although I’m no fan of suffering, I can learn to manage it. No, my largest fear was a loss of range of motion. I had lost over 100 pounds and was looking forward to summer; beach volleyball, swimming, rock climbing, mountain cycling, and many other activities weren’t readily available to a man close to 300 pounds. And with a shoulder injury that may have needed surgery it was looking like it was closed off again.
I committed myself to stretching and bodyweight exercises. The lightest weightlifting possible. Anything to start increasing my range. It hurt. I popped pills and slept through the pain. I woke up and worked out again. I did as much yoga as I could. I was told I didn’t need surgery and was cleared to add more resistance. My strength came back slowly, and the pain faded even slower. But my range increased. I had no strength and a lot of pain in some positions, but I could move. It was hope, not of a return to a normal life but to the more active life I saw for myself.
Almost a year later I’m still mindful of my shoulder; I still get pain but I’m no longer worried about activities creating a re-injury. My range of motion and strength are even better than before the accident. There’s a book I’ve been reading, Becoming Bulletproof by Tim Anderson and Mike McNiff, I wish I had it before I hurt myself. From the first page;
“The body should be capable of doing anything without limitations. We should be able to run, jump and play without sustaining nagging injuries or acquiring other “movement issues””
See what I mean?
So many of us are the walking wounded, unable to live the full lives we want without a reminder of a past injury or fear of a future one. That’s no life, not one I want and one I can’t believe you’d want either. Becoming Bulletproof explains its ideas of movement being central to mental and physical health. It provides simple exercises to allow us to “reset” our brains and bodies; by tying movement and thought together we relearn what we are capable of and find our sticking points. Knowing where there is a problem is the first step to fixing it. Tim’s follow-up bookPressing Resetprovides even more opportunities “to restore the body’s basic movement patterns and functions”.
I’m including a link at the bottom of this post to Tim’s website. I don’t make any money off the link, so go ahead and search Amazon for Becoming Bulletproof if you’d like. Tim is available though his website’s email. He answered a couple of questions I had in regards to the books. I wanted to share them with you not because he asked me to, but because these are great books, and Tim is an approachable guy with a real desire to help people become healthy and active. I hope I can return the favor, if not to him then to someone else.
If you spend a lot of your time not moving, please check out these books and get yourself on a path of health. If you move a lot, check out the books to make sure you are moving at your highest capabilities. I use the resets everyday, and they keep me active and my pain well-managed. I am truly thankful for that.