100%…what does that even mean?

So…about 7 months ago (end of September 2018) I got my left arm out of the sling from the shoulder surgery (done in August 2018), and started PT…my right arm was also recovering from shoulder surgery done in January 2018.

At that point, I couldn’t lay on my back (bench press position) and raise my left arm without assistance. Literally, the PT gal had to “pull my finger” LOL!

My right arm was nearly as bad, I could raise it by that time with just the arm weight, but even a 1-pound weight (a cute little dumbbell!) overwhelmed it after just a rep or two. It was all I could do to lay there with my hand in the air making little circles.

Fast forward just a bit:

I’ve been working the shoulders practically every day, often multiple times a day, for months. Once cleared from physical therapy (not DONE mind you, but “functional” gets your insurance to kick ya out) I started working again with my trainer (Travis Merritt at Rowlett Transformation Center) for my overall fitness and specific, deliberate work on the shoulders.

And I still work them nearly every day on my own. How much and when is determined by how close I’ve approached the threshold between “good” pain and “bad” pain.

I’ve learned the difference. It’s not subtle.

I’ve said it before…most of this fitness thing is a mind-game. Rehab, even more-so.

I’ve stared down the damn Smith machine more than once while wondering just what the fuck I was doing all this for (the Smith Machine cable setup is ideal for certain shoulder rehab work).

I stare. And wonder. And curse. And then I do the work anyway.

Eventually a pattern emerges. It’s not the pain or near-constant soreness…it’s the mind contemplating the lack of apparent progress.

Day to day I there is no improvement evident. Even week to week the changes are subtle.

And it takes focus and drive to summon the effort to deliberately inflict a calculated amount of pain, with no immediate benefit to be seen.

But still I persist. Still I MAKE the time. Still I pay the price. And every once and a while, the returns jump out at me.

So, those mere months ago when I couldn’t “press” my own arm weight?

Today, I bench-pressed 110 pounds. Not a lot for some of you folks…but amazing progress for me. Seems just a few weeks ago I couldn’t do just a barbell.

My shoulder surgeon, when discussing my potential to recover from the “catastrophic” and chronic injuries, had indicated that with persistence and hard work I may recover as much as 95% range of motion and perhaps 85% strength. I promised myself 100% of both.

I’ve achieved that on range of motion…but what about strength? Could I make it “back” to 100%?

I got a laugh out of that today. 100%…of what…exactly? I was nowhere near my potential before the injuries.

And even though it’s subtle, daily I gain in strength and control.

So what is 100%?

That’s where I stop, THAT’S what 100% means.

…and I’m not stopping.

I’ll see you on the road.

Daniel Meyer

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