After all this work, I won't be doing the Highland Games 2

After all this work, I won’t be doing the Highland Games

So, for a while I was posting frequently about my progress for workouts as I trained for the Wichita Highland Games being held at the Great Plains Renaissance Festival.  This was a really big thing for me – I had been really looking forward to doing it.  I’ve competed once, having no idea what I was going to be doing,  This time, however, I knew what I was it felt like to do the games, where I needed to gain strength, etc.

Along the way, I hurt my shoulder.  I did a double whammy – I was running, stepped in a hole, and did a fantastic flying roll (seriously, I wish I had that on video), took two steps while still moving at a pretty good clip, then promptly face-planted (that part I would have edited out.)  Then, later that day, was hanging from the chinup bar, my shoulders fully extended, doing some ab stuff.  My shoulder popped.

Now, I’ve already got a messed up left shoulder that’s had surgery many years ago.  I just falls out of socket semi-randomly (actually, I built up enough muscle mass on the last run of workouts I haven’t had it fall out of socket in quite a while.)  No biggie, but there’s certain things I’m careful about.  My right shoulder, unfortunately, feels a lot like it.

I limped along a bit on my workouts, trying to find ways of working around it for some of the range of motion issues I was having.  For the most part, I did OK.  But, slowly, things seemed to be getting worse.

At this time, I’m having a problem with reaching out and grabbing things that are at arms length – I get a nice stabbing pain in my right shoulder.  Most of the time, I manage to sort of hide that there’s a problem, and try not to admit it’s gotten worse.  And, well, there’s various range of motion stuff that just doesn’t work right.  On top of that, there’s a nice “pop” that feels a bit like how my left shoulder doesn’t move through a certain range of motion right (you can actually see my left shoulder pop in and out of socket.  The first time I showed a sports medicine doctor that, he changed colors and looked a bit ill.  I’m not kidding.)

I took two weeks off, just to see if swelling went down, things improved, something like that.  It hasn’t.

Well, crap.  I’m not going to compete this time.  I figure I might be able to do it, but if I did it, I’ll destroy the shoulder the rest of the way.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up.  Instead, I’m extending my timeline.

Something I learned from the left shoulder – after building up a good amount of mass on it, it no longer pops out of socket, and I rarely have issues with it.  So, I’m going to be crafting a fairly long-term plan for my right shoulder (including consulting a doctor either this week or next), and see about doing similar: rebuilding the muscle around it, and seeing if I can compensate for it’s weaknesses.

The big thing I can’t work very well right now is my chest – that’s part of the problematic area for it’s range of motion issues.  Oddly, I could continue on to build bigger triceps and biceps without aggravating it – that portion of the range of motion isn’t affected!

For the short term, though, I’m going to switch my workout goal.  For a little bit, it’s about fulfilling what my post-Highland Games was going to be, just a little early.  I’m shooting for 6-pack abs.   Now, this is a temporary thing – to reach that goal, I’ve got to strip A LOT of weight off my center.  And, even if I get to 6-pack abs, I’m not going to have a perfectly flat stomach – I’ll be a bit more “pro wrestler” sort of stomach at this point in life (and, that’s not a bad thing.)  Once I achieve it, I’ll probably only have ’em for about 3 or 4 weeks – just long enough to say I’ve had ’em.  But, the important part is, it means I will have stripped enough fat off of my center that I can look like, well, anything I want to look like at that point.  Building a muscular frame on top of a body that’s been stripped that far down looks a lot better than having plenty of extra fat sitting on top of 17″ biceps.  I’ll also continue my arm workouts within the range of motion that I have available for the moment, and what the heck, let’s see if I can reach 18″ (which, for a 5′ 9″ guy is pretty big.)

After 3 – 4 months, and with the help of a doctor I hope, I’ll start working on my chest and back again more heavily (plus, there are some things I can do to help minimize potential damage when I do return to that).  Basically, now I have a full year to prep for the Wichita Highland Games.  I want to look at 44 what most guys wish they could look like at 24 😉

In some ways, I consider this a fail.  I’m not going to finish my goal of competing this year.  That’s definitely a fail.  I failed to manage to not injure myself in my workouts.

But, I didn’t fail completely.  I could have went ahead and competed in the games; it would probably be the last time I ever got to do it, because I’d blow the shoulder out the rest of the way (at the moment I view it as “damaged” not “toast”.)   That has the potential for an epic fail.  So, now, I’ve got (roughly) 56 weeks in which to be ready for the 2016 Wichita Highland Games, along with a timeline to working towards my goal of ripping the fat offa’ my body.  I didn’t give up – I just learned to change the goal. 🙂

So, starting next week, I’ll restart the countdown and photo thing again on Wednesdays.  And, despite that sense of failure and disappointment at not reaching the goal, I’m hyped about what 2016 would be like.  I’ve managed to do pretty good for 9 weeks straight, and even had the wisdom to take time off to let my body heal.  Let’s see what I can do in that 56 weeks 🙂


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