When I was working in Palau, Micronesia, I tore my shoulder. Long story short: I was on a skip boat and we were loading stuff onto the big boat. I was holding onto a rope off the side of the big boat to try to steady the boats in 5 metre high waves. Well, the big boat went up in the swell while the little boat I was in went down – my arm went with the rope, up. The rest of me went with gravity, down.
Yes. It hurt a lot.
Now, because I was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there weren't exactly any fancy physio clinics available. So, I just dealt with it. That was 6 years ago. When I moved back to Canada, about a year later, and started competing, I realized just how necessary my shoulder was for bodybuilding and got an MRI. Turns out I had a 4mm x 6mm slap tear, aka “superior labral tear from anterior to posterior”. A pretty good size considering I hadn't received any type of therapy for it for well over a year.
The only solution for this type of tear is surgery. I didn't have time, nor did I want surgery. So, I worked around it. Instead of wide grip pull ups, I perform hammer grip. Instead of overhead military presses with a barbell, I use dumbbells to give me that play with the range of motion in my left shoulder. In fact, I've found ways to adapt many shoulder intensive exercises. While, that's pretty ingenious of me, it turns out it's also pretty stupid because I've managed to screw up my entire left side from shoulder to knee.
That's not entirely true. My left hip has issues, I believe, from my horse back riding days. I rode horses since I was a child, through my growing years, and into my late teens. I had aspirations of going to the Olympics as a show jumper. That constant impact on my hips and knees from soaring over big fences is now rearing its ugly head, now that I'm adding weight to my joints. Again, it's something I've just dealt with and adapted over the years.
Well, no more. I'm finally doing something about this mess I've gotten myself into. I want to do deep squats. I want to do weighted wide grip pull ups – so bad ass!!
Over the years, I've tried so many different types of physio therapies – from painful blood plasma injections with B12, to IMS (Intramuscular stimulation), to ART (active release therapy) and massage therapy. You see, when you have an injury – or injuries – you have to shop around until you find something that works. I've been to some of the best in the industry, Carm Stillo and Dr Galea at the Institute of Sports Medicine, and Dinah Hampson and Jennifer Costa at PIVOT Sports.
The latest in my arsenal of physio therapists is Dr. Ken Kinakin. This guy is the real deal and understands bodybuilder-related injuries. I started working with Ken two weeks ago. Our introduction was an eye opener… he told me this is what's wrong with me…
In short: everything.
If I didn't get into this silly business of bodybuilding, I probably could have gone through life oblivious to the damage I've done, until it's too late and I'm too old to really fix things. I probably could have continued adapting my workouts to fit my injuries, but then Ken told me my left glute medius has atrophied. WHA'?!?!? No. I won't settle for that. I want to walk on that Olympia stage as an IFBB Figure Pro, and I want to get there with a balanced physique. I also want to do badass wide grip pull ups, and do full deep squats with a loaded bar.
I am finally taking care of this. We are finally fixing Lisa. It's a long road ahead, but I'm glad to be FINALLY taking care of business.