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Have you ever had that feeling that you're broken and that it won't be that much longer before you totally fall to pieces? Well, that’s how I’ve felt for a while now. After fighting in a full contact tournament last year, I took 2 weeks off before starting to train again. I started getting pain in my upper back, as if it needed a good adjusting. So I tried all sorts of things to try and get it to ‘pop’ so that I could get some relief. Nothing helped. I ended up going to a chiropractor and did the initial X-Ray. It showed some problems and the doctor suspected that I had a herniation at some point because of numbness and loss of strength.

The doctor kept urging me to do an MRI and I kept putting it off, fearful of what the results would indicate. About half a year later, I finally went through with the MRI, and it was pretty bad. The tech said she took the scan a little lower than the doc requested because she saw some stuff that didn’t look good. It turns out that I have not just ONE herniated disc, but multiple herniations which run from C2-3 down through T1-2. The worst one being at C5-6, which is impinging on the nerve and is the primary cause for the weakness in my left side (the numbness and tingling dissipated a while ago). Needless to say, he is now urging me to discontinue my training and fighting. But I refuse to until after the next big tournament in July. I have 3 bronze medals and really want that gold. This is the last go around for me, one way or the other. So I refuse to give in.

Now, on top of that, there are the usual aches and pains from training… high ankle sprain, bruised bones, etc etc. But this past weekend, we started doing some fitness testing. Which, for the most part, wasn’t that bad? But after doing push-ups, and prior to running a 40 yard sprint, my shoulder and collarbone really started to bother me. It was some of the most agonizing pain I’ve felt in a while. It was excruciating to reach across my body. I couldn’t even put my shoes on without wanting to cry. My chiropractor was not in yesterday when I went for my routine “neuro-muscular therapy” (deep tissue/sports massage) to work on the affected areas around the hernations. So I explained what I felt to my therapist and that I wondered if I had a partially separated, or completely separated shoulder. She detailed (with the help of a chart) that I most likely strained my trap muscle. So now I’m frustrated because I need to rest up and cannot train, and cannot (or should not) lift weights for probably a week or two. It just seems like I’m never going to heal up and be the ox I once was.

Some days, I just want to throw the towel in and go back to old habits that are still lingering around. But I know that’s not the way. It’s not a good mindset to have. And most of all, it’s not healthy. Those who know me, know that I try to log everything no matter what. So there are days where I will stray and go over calories and such. But I make sure to hold myself accountable. And as long as I don’t completely throw the towel in and call it quits, then it’s perfectly ok to let loose once a week or so. I’m not sure exactly where I was going with this, but wanted to vent frustration in general over my aches and pains, and of course growing older.

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