Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Moving Forward

The MRI results showed some minor damage left over from my original shoulder injury six or seven years ago, but other than some muscle scar tissue and a small growth on a bone, there's not too much wrong with my joint. The rotator cuff is more or less fine. Apparently the problem was a significant strain of an already weak muscle.

The orthopedist recommended some reduced intensity workouts (duh) and a gradual return to heavy weights. Considering that the only thing I can't do with my shoulder right now is the bench press and push-up (and on-the-bike power climbing), I'd say that's a pretty reassuring diagnosis. No surgery needed, no cortisone shots needed. What a relief!

The shoulder actually feels much better lately, as I've wisely stayed away from efforts that hurt the weak muscle to blame for all of my recent pain. Now I'm just trying to rebuild and strengthen it to avoid future problems. My shoulder is always going to grind and click, but I've got full range of motion and hopefully in the future I can avoid further pain.

In other news, my gym workouts have gotten really intense. My entire body is responding well to heavier weights and more intense sets, and I'm starting to regain some size I've lost over the past couple of years. The added strength and muscle mass will hopefully pay off next season, as I focus my bike training on sprinting and time trialing and away from climbing. I mean, who am I kidding? I live in the Ohio River Valley. It's almost impossible to find a hill taller than 900 feet anywhere in the immediate area, and hilly races are few and far between. Screw climbing. I want to kill guys at the line. My flamingo legs will hopefully be a thing of the past, and ultimately I'll become a powerful sprinter. Maybe.

See you in the gym.