Getting Personal: Fixing a Physical Problem That Has Been Developing for Five Years

“Admitting your weaknesses does not diminish your strengths: it shows your courage.”

-Erin Andrews

At the beginning of this year, I had a couple of fitness goals that I wanted to master (click here to read all about it). One goal was to be able to complete 5 pull-ups in a row. Another goal I have is to be able to master a handstand.

I’m not going to lie; I haven’t actively been training for these goals as often as I should. When I have access to a pull-up bar and a chance to practice many other holds and workouts to improve handstands, I’ve been doing it.

But I’ve found my shoulders, upper back and shoulder blades to be weak.  I’ve been in pain while trying to train my handstands or pull-ups. I was so confused. “Why is this so hard for me?” “I’m a strong women. I’ve been training my muscles, why aren’t I getting stronger? Why isn’t this getting any easier for me?”

What’s worse is that I’ve found my shoulder and trapezoid strength deteriorating. When I’m in a barre or spin class, I struggle to keep my weights up during the weight track. What? Excuse me? I can lift wayyyyy more than 2.5lbs! Why can’t I keep up? Everyone else in the class can…

It’s been very frustrating. To the point where I won’t even train my handstands and pull-ups for weeks at a time. After a while, I become optimism and try again. But I’m left with the same result. No improvement and constant pain.

It wasn’t until I was home from my trip to France that I realized what was going on.

The day I went back to work my body was in pain. Almost instantly after one flight my neck, to shoulder blade to shoulder on the right side of my body was tense and sore (trapezius muscle and rhomboids). I realized that my job was inhibiting my ability to progress with my training and making me sore everyday.

But why? I do all the proper body mechanics. I work out. I’m healthy. I take care of myself. Why is this happening to me?

I figure the pain comes from constantly lifting my bags in and out of bins and cars. Dragging my suitcase through airports and parking lots. Pulling out a service cart that weighs 200 lbs with one arm (because there’s no other way to get it out). Pouring hundreds of coffees, teas and waters each day. Not to mention sleeping in different hotel beds every night (thick pillows ruin my life).

How can I fix this?

This is all new to me. I’ve been dreading the day that I would be “sore”. Having a bad back and being sore all the time is something that old people have. Right? Am I really thatold?

I choose to not allow this to bring me down any longer. I am not fucking 80 years old and I refuse to have these problems.

I have already started talking to professionals, from my massage therapist to kinesiologists about what I can do to feel better. Today I’m starting a whole new chapter in taking care of myself.

Having the same problems? I’ll be sharing with you what’s working and not working. Hopefully I’ll be on my way to feeling better and finally completing my fitness goals.

– AT


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