😵‍💫 Injury Struggle

I’m mentally struggling.

At the end of 2022, I had to stop training Muay Thai because of overuse of my bicep tendon. The pain for this kind of injury runs through the front of the shoulder, and it’s a nagging, dull pain that only gets worse over time.

To get better, I had to stop Muay Thai altogether, and all weightlifting in fact. I couldn’t do anything that would aggravate my bicep tendon.

After a couple of months, it felt better, but I couldn’t go back to my typical weights and boxing routine. So, I changed my workout entirely, which led me to starting Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Well, the injury is back.

A week ago, I was trying a new workout that involved incline pushups, among other things. This new angle put stress on my bicep tendon, which caused that ever-annoying pain to flair up again.

I mistakenly thought I was just a little sore from the workout, so the next day I lifted weights and noticed the pain as well. It was at this point that I should have rested, but I did something to make it even worse.

The following day, I had my trial class at a new BJJ gym. I had been looking forward to this for a month, so I didn’t want to miss it. I had a great class, but as you would imagine, my bicep tendon didn’t take kindly and the pain was even more pronounced in my shoulder. Still, I signed up for the gym after the class.

Two days later, I went for another BJJ class. It was fun, but I was noticeably hindered by the pain in my shoulder. After this class, I went home and iced my shoulder for the first time. The reality was sinking in…

I need to stop all activity.

After that second BJJ class, I knew that I had to cut off all exercise activity that involved my upper body. This has been a significant blow to my happiness for a couple of reasons.

First, I had been looking forward to training BJJ really seriously this year. I even set a personal goal that within 18 months I would reach blue belt. It’s beyond frustrating that I only got two classes in and I have to stop. It’s really hard.

Second, working out is a big part of my life. My entire week is often scheduled with various workouts: BJJ, body weight exercises, lifting weights, going on walks, and various other activities.

Cutting most of these out is like having to take away a part of who I am, what I love, and what I value. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke weed. The high I get after a good workout is my drug. Without it, I go through pretty heavy withdrawals.

Recovery mode… again.

It feels like weeks, but I’m only three full days into my recovery. Any hope I had of this going away as I continue training BJJ is out the window. I’m looking at, most likely, 4–6 weeks before I can start to experiment with upper body exercises.

I’m no longer icing the injury and have switched to heat. I sit in the hot tub at least once a day, take a hot shower, and have a heating pad that I use several times throughout the day as well. I also have started weekly acupuncture, as I believe that helped me last time as well.

But, more than anything, I need to just rest.

So, that is where I am at. I came to write here because I needed to get it out of my head. I’m struggling.


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