With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin’ kinda older

Four months after my shoulder surgery, where my torn off tendon was re-attached to the upper arm bone, I’m still struggling with rehabilitation. The first six weeks my shoulder was, with help from a sling, kept immobilized. Since then my physical therapy program has gradually evolved from passive exercises, in order to improve range of motion in my shoulder, to active exercises, where I’m allowed to use weights and resistance bands.

Although I’ve been told that commitment to rehabilitation is key to a successful outcome, it is sometimes hard to stay motivated. I’m not a patient person and to learn that it will take at least 6 months to have a “functional” range of motion and adequate strength has almost broken my spirit. Lately I’ve also experience increased pain. My physiotherapist says it’s because I’m using my shoulder more and more in my everyday life. I’m starting to realise that my next kickboxing practise is further away than I had anticipated.

It is often said that once a teacher, forever a student; in the experience of my injury I have learned a lot, first and foremost about myself and about life. I suppose “life lessons” are called that for a reason. You need to experience life in order to learn the lessons. And the older you get, the more life you experience.

I’m learning to be patient and centered while I slowly regain strenght and motion in my shoulder. To be able to cope I’ve set up goals. My long-term goal is to regain full strength and motion and to be back at kickboxing before the end of the year.

I’ve set up short-term goals too. One is to do my rehab-exercises every day, no matter what. Although my mind is very much on regaining those boulders on my shoulders I also have goals that target my wellbeing, i.e. to get rid of the boulder on my shoulder (Do you see what I did there? #playingwithwords 😉)

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. (Samuel Ullman)

Since it’s my 46th birthday today, I want to say something about getting older. As I mentioned earlier, the consequences of living are accumulated life experience and (hopefully) growing wisdom. Apart from that, age is just a number. I’ve promised myself to never let that number become an excuse for not pursuing joy and happiness every day.

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