Resveratrol ( or How to be a Lush without any of the fun)

It has been for freakin’ ever since I have posted. Why? Well because I have had nothing to report. Zero. Zip. My shoulder had made very little improvement in months. Regardless of how much fish oil I ingested( fish burps. Mmmmmm) or physical therapy sessions I endured. I just hit a plateau.
Now, I am not much of a drinker ( although it has been suggested to me that I start and start heavily) but recently I remembered that my athletic performance and endurance was significantly improved in the past ( several years ago) when I began taking a supplement called Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes. Scientists attribute the low incidences of heart disease and obesity in France, (despite their intake of delicious, fatty foods) to their copious ingestion of red wine which contains buttloads and buttloads of Resveratrol. This is known as The French Paradox.

I dreamily recalled my run times were faster and my endurance increased. I discovered all of this by accident then as I was merely taking the supplement for its purported anti – aging health benefits and not athletic performance.  I was very pleasantly surprised with the Superwoman side effects. Somehow though, I fell out of taking it and almost forgot all about it ..until recently.

Since my surgery I have been focusing on cardio mostly and whatever else I am able do but my wind and endurance have been pathetic, (for me at least) and then I remembered ….the grape!

I started taking it again about 3 weeks ago to the tune of 500 mg per day and I’ll be damned if it’s not what I remembered! My times are getting faster. My runs more effortless , and some of this ass fat is beginning to melt a bit. But here is something I did not expect….My shoulder is actually making progress!!!

In 3 weeks I have seen more improvement than 3 months! My range of motion has improved and I can actually sleep at night without most of the pain I have been experiencing. Every day is better  and better.  Needless to say, I am stoked!

So my fellow winged athletes to you I say,  raise a glass, take a pill, and march on to victory! I am.

4 Weeks Out..or is that Weak…s?

Ya know…for something as relatively simple sounding of a surgery….this thing still hurts like a beeyotch. It is better. My ROM ( Range of Movement ) has improved..BUT that whole 6 week prognostication? Yeah. Not so much.

Maybe 8.

Maybe 10.

I am capable of doing Deadlifts and Squats now. The squats are high bar and I can just barely grip my fingertips under the bar so the amount weight is limited so far. It takes about 5 minutes of incremental stretching to get under the bar at all but I can do it.
And on Thursday I actually did 3X5 band assisted pull ups!

So sounds pretty good right? It does. It does. But small movements, especially across the body make me see stars. Also raising the arm is still very limited. A very slow process and I still have to ‘walk ‘ my fingers against a wall etc. Pulling motions are strong. Pushing is another story. Girl push ups make me tremble with trepidation right now. What a wuss!

My heart goes out to you guys who actually got sutures and/or anchors to hold your crap together. It’s a long enough process without them.  With that, I will leave you with one very important word.

Ice.

Here Comes Debride…..ment.

Well here I am. 5 days after my SLAP surgery on Tuesday. It took me a minute to crawl my right hand to the keyboard but I can type! Yay! I can type.

I am in pain but not the pain I was in on Wednesday or Thursday. My Range of motion is slowly increasing and I start official physical therapy tomorrow.

Strangely, in recovery, my Doctor said to me, “It wasn’t as bad as we thought.”

Wait. What?”, I thought in my drug induced haze.

Yep. Turns out there  wasn’t a type 2 SLAP which involves the bicep tendon but a tiny type 1 . That and a buttload of inflammation. So my Doctor did what’s called a debridement. (Cool gross video)

Essentially ( I think) that entails cutting out the loose stuff so it doesn’t catch in the shoulder joint and cutting away of some inflamed tissue to encourage the underlying stuff to heal. I’m still a bit fuzzy on the details but I should know more Tuesday when I see my Doctor for the first follow up.

I could have sworn he said my recovery would be 6 weeks though.  That sure beats the original projection of 6 months. Still..I have to wonder, how I can be diagnosed with a type 2 SLAP, make the HUGE decision to get surgery for it and then get told that I didn’t have that after all…?

It should be an interesting visit on Tuesday.

Slappy, The New Crossfit Mascot?

Not really. Just a humorous editorial on  Crossfit’s tendency to make light or fun of the injuries that are prevalent within the sport. I can’t take credit for it. This was submitted by Andrew at the Catalyst Athletics forum. It’s a pretty informative board. Check it out.

Immortality and Crossfit

I want to love Crossfit. Secretly I do. I want to be one of the cool kids in the box competing for time and throwing myself to the mat in exhaustion.

What pushes people to bring themselves to the level of near ( and sometimes total) sickness and injury ? What pushed me? Still pushes me?

I can only say that I always desire to be greater today than I was yesterday. Better, stronger, faster ( not necessarily smarter). I always thought I had no limits. That I was invincible. Immortal. Like the sinewy, bronze people in the Crossfit pictures, frozen in time. But the truth is I am getting older and with that times start slowing, and stuff starts creaking and breaking. It’s the same for everyone. Why should I be any different? I can feel the waves of acceptance crashing against the rocks of my resolve… I must not go gentle into that good night (!) yet I wrestle with reality and possibility as a part of me acquiesces and compromises. I hate this.

As I sit here and write this I am convincing myself slowly that my shoulder isn’t THAT bad. Maybe I should wait and see what another three months of physical therapy can accomplish. Perhaps I was too hasty to submit myself to the control of an arthroscope wielding witch doctor.

The thought of losing my independence does not sit well. Even with the promise of a return to previous and even greater glory down the road. Maybe it’s the cop in me. I’m always looking for an exit.

I am off to submit myself to the whims of my Physical Therapist. Perhaps she can talk some sense into me. In the meantime, I will imagine myself bronze and sinewy…. and immortal. Just like the people in the pictures.

Did Cavewomen Eat Twinkies?

Lord knows I have struggled with eating my entire life. I mean, you gotta eat, right? I have done it all. Atkins, Vegetarian, Grapefruit, All Carb, No Carb. You get the idea.

Lately, I had the greatest success with the Paleo Diet. For the uninitiated, it’s basically a reversion to the way our ancestors of the Paleolithic era used to eat. Contrary to the historically inaccurate documentary series, The Flintsones, the Paleolithic diet not include fast food drive throughs. On Paleo I never felt better. My head was clear, my energy was great and I was getting lean. All from essentially eschewing grains. That’s pretty much the basis in a nutshell. (For more info, please click on the link.)

Anyway, at some point while living blissfully happy and paleo I convinced myself that surely your average cavegirl would avail herself of the occasional Twinkie if she had one available. I mean, C’mon! If you were foraging and starving and turned over a rock and saw that spongy goodness beckoning from underneath would you turn it down? Of course not. Neither did I.

So now I am recommitting to the Paleo Lifestyle. With my impending surgery and recovery I want to be as strong, healthy and fit as possible.

I have gained close to twenty ( goddamn 20!) pounds in the last six months. ( new position, new shift , new excuse, another excuse…) and I want to get a grip. It should be interesting. Please follow along. Turn the page like this when you hear the Twinkie wrapper….

Here are some more great Paleo links..

Mark’s Daily Apple

Balanced Bites

Crossfit is Dangerous ( Or How to Love a Slap Repair)

Win One for the Kipper

Kipper

Ok. Maybe I am being a little harsh and bitter but I don’t think so. Really.

In my infinite wisdom at the ripe old age of 42, I decided to take my already pretty fit self to new heights. I had heard about Crossfit over the last year or two and decided what the hell.
Well now after several months of physical therapy, my Orthopedist and I have decided that my right shoulder has a torn labrum (or SLAP injury) that would be better off with (gulp!) surgery.

My biggest beef with Crossfit is the emphasis of lifting relatively heavy weights for as many reps in the least amount of time possible.

I have been to two local Crossfit boxes and enrolled in both of their ‘Basics’ or beginner’s classes. Instructors at each box admitted that Crossfit allows for a percentage of form degradation in the interest of better times. (Crossfit= 20% Slop)
Crossfit also is growing too fast for its own good. At the first box WOD (or workout of the Day) I attended, the Coaches actually had me ‘scale’ a workout from 50 ‘kipping’ pull ups ( don’t get me started on those!) to 100! jumping pull ups! A nice recipe for Rhabdomyolosis. The rapid growth of the sport is definitely at the expense of quality control and education. Attend a two day seminar and Viola! you too can open a Crossfit gym of your very own , providing, of course, you pay the proper fees. I am not alone. If you check Crossfit’s forum page you can see that the’Injuries‘ section is very active. ( Lots O’ SLAP buddies here.)

Anyhoo, on December 22, 2010 I will be giving myself the Chritmas gift of SLAP repair surgery. I know I am not in this boat alone so I will chronicle my experience here for my fellow wounded soldiers. I am optimistic and hope I will be able to return to my previously fit self. I won’t do Crossfit again per se but I would like to get back to lifting and interval training. You know, the stuff I used to do before I decided that wasn’t good enough….sigh.

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