It started with me hurting my rotator cuff. Seriously, there was about a week when I wanted to twist my arm out of its socket and throw it out of the window — because to be armless couldn’t possibly hurt worse. It felt like a huge rotten tooth.

Background: I have never had an injury or really ever been sick. I’ve been fit for a long time. And then, one day my shoulder started to hurt and it just kept getting worse and then eventually I couldn’t hand you a dollar. I couldn’t type, I couldn’t draw, I couldn’t reach for anything in a cupboard. Driving hurt. The day I couldn’t run or ride my bike, I went to see a PT dude. Maybe not the best choice to go to a PT dude before seeing a doctor but there was a PT storefront across from my building. Besides the PT guy, I went to a very smart trainer at the gym. And ultimately an orthopedic surgeon.

I’ll spare all the details but the good news is that it was impinged, not torn, and everything I learned from all three of them contributed to my being on my way to getting better.

And I learned this stuff:

  1. No one person has the complete answer. There is not one single person who knows the whole deal when it comes to another human being. In my case of needing to heal my shoulder… lucky me…it only took three people to unlock the code. I picked good ones…so no spread sheet necessary. At any rate all three of them told me something that was essential to my getting better and with each of the three pieces of information being equal, the other two alone wouldn’t have created much progress.
  2. Injuries that are not caused by an accident but by a gradual weakening of tissue are great teachers. It means we are chronically holding tension somewhere that doesn’t serve us, or we are exercising wrong or we’re sleeping wrong or something. There’s something that needs to be addressed that would otherwise become a disaster. And by responding correctly to the injury, you are changing your life’s course.

For example in the case of me… not great posture. I’ve been working on fixing it for years. I tried to hold myself correctly all the time but as soon as I had a new thought, my shoulders and spine would go to their natural place. So my posture was destined to get worse. But hallelujah, I got a shoulder injury so I would have to address it.

First of all, turns out, I was not helping matters. I thought I was so fit. I was doing pushups, crunches, bike riding. Insodoing I was turning myself into a C-shape. I was doing no pulling at all, that everything was forward to strengthen the front of the body. A lot of women do this. And I sit over a computer all day and I write or draw or play my guitar for hours. So what happened was my shoulders fell foward and they got impinged.

It took awhile and I had to spend alot money with the trainer who was a genius and a philosopher. Very heavy cat. And no I‘m not in love with him.

I don’t think!

But I learned to breathe and I learned to pull and I learned to strengthen my back and connect my body to itself and I have a strong back now and my lats and deltoids are building and I‘m tapped into a new energy of strength through correctly breathing from my core. I learned what to stretch and the precise way to exercise to rehab everything. Plus I took Aleve as treatment for inflammation and that I would not have done without the doctor.

Also The Bulletproof Shoulder is a great book.

Having a strong back makes me feel soo’s nice to tap into my own I-ching of energy. I have a strength and a sense of myself when I walk that I never had before — like I feel totally in my body. All the tension of my life that was stored in my shoulders like a ticking time bomb is just gone. When I catch myself walking I’m naturally straight and tall and that changes my mood. I’m not destined to be a humped-over person when I get old.

So… I’m thankful to my shoulder injury for giving me the key.


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