I really do get my ideas for blog posts at the strangest of times!

I was just putting the doona cover on my winter doona and I was shaking it up and down in the air – its a king sized doona so its heavy – and it occurred to me that up til now I’ve been avoiding doing this because it might hurt my shoulders – it did a bit but not as much as I expected.

And I went to the gym yesterday.

so what? big deal.

well, it is a big deal. I’ve been avoiding going to the gym as well. I do my rehab at home and I don’t go to the gym – I was doing my rehab at the gym just to keep in the routine of it and to stay in someway connected with training, but then all my injuries degenerated and my shoulders got worse so I had to stop going to the gym and doing rehab completely. Since then I haven’t been going to the gym because it might hurt my shoulders, it might cause my elbow to relapse, it might make my hammies and hips worse.

Ok stuff does hurt, my range of movement in my rotator cuffs is not good and anything that compresses my shoulder causes pain from the acromium joint all the way down to my elbows, lifting my arm laterally or in front causes pain in the shoulder joint, my left leg is in pain from the hip all the way down to my ankle when I sit, walk stand – whatever


I think I’ve become afraid to even try to see if there any exercises that I can do – because it might make things go backwards again.

Have I gone too far the other way and so wrapped myself in cotton wool that I’m now using my injuries like a security blanket?

Am I using my injuries as an excuse not to train? have I become so comfortable with not training and not pushing myself physically that at some level I’ve decided to let it all go and say ‘never mind I tried, but it was just too hard’?

Am I using the injuries as an attention seeker…am I playing for a sympathy vote?

‘Never mind Sarah, you tried, but you did have a lot to overcome’

ooh now that’s a deep one…

anyone got a couch handy that I can lie on….


This is a very odd space to be in for me  – I’m usually totally kamikaze about things – I jump out of the plane first and then check to see if I remembered to strap the parachute to me – and if it doesn’t work, never mind, next!

Who else do you know that is planning on going ice climbing on volcanoes in Ecuador?

I’m still hoping to make that trip in December. Its my warm up trip for climbing Mt Aconcagua…

This is what I do…

and now I’m not.

Fear is a funny thing – it will stop you in your tracks, but it can creep up on you so slowly you don’t even know its there, it’s insidious – you just gradually stop doing things you once did – and you can come up with perfectly logical, rational reasons as to why you can’t do those things anymore, and then you start to look back on those things with fond memories of how you once were…

sound familiar to anyone?


Stop Stopping yourself!

That’s what I realised yesterday, that’s why I MADE myself go to the gym yesterday and I’m glad I did. Here’s what I found out – I don’t seem to experience pain when I do any rowing exercises, seated or bent over – good. This means I might be able to start training my back – not to muscle building intensity, but hopefully at least maintenance levels – I’m certainly going try.

I managed to do a set of leg presses without hurting my hammies – very light, but I haven’t pulled up sore today. This is good, I might be able to get my legs working gently.

I even did a set of hammie curls – with just the 5kg plate and I haven’t pulled up sore today. This is also good. It means I should be able to get some movement in them and shake out the cobwebs.

Lat pulldowns – no, chest press – no, bicep curls of any description – no, lat raise – no, shoulder press – forget it.

But, it looks like I have enough to do a very simple workout.

I am going to try – gently for a change – and yes I am afraid that it might not work – but at least if it doesn’t then I’ll genuinely be able to say that I tried, and I didn’t let the fear stop me.


Since I’ve put the cover on my lovely thick winter doona, I should be cosy and warm…wrapped up in my actual blanket


Mission Impossible?

For those of you who were at Filex – did you learn lots? Is your brain fried? Or are you fired up with lots of new ideas and great information?

How hard was it to choose what lectures to attend with so much on offer?!?

I’d completely forgotten what I had chosen and when I registered I had to laugh – all my seminars involved either rehab for legs or a body composition/weight loss theme – very pertinent! and very important, I obviously had a mission in mind when I made my choices!

Mission Injury Source.

Mission Impossible? well, not necessarily!

I think I may have got to the root cause of all my injuries and why they’re not healing…

my butt doesn’t work!

or more precisely my gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus are switched off…completely.

Not a quiver, not a twitch and as a result my poor hamstrings and hip flexors are overloading themselves doing the work that my lazy butt muscles should be doing and the poor things are exhausted!  Then throw on top of that adductors and quads being waay too strong and you’ve got one out of whack set of legs and hips!

So what  was the key? Ever heard of the Trendelenberg Sign? No neither had I..until this weekend and then I heard it…lots.

And I failed it. Completely.

Basically this test is used for runners and it shows how strong your glutes are…or not…in my case.

I was advised never to run…at least until I’d got my butt working – no worries there, running is probably the one exercise I’ve ALWAYS hated doing!

In another seminar we tried another test – lie prone on the floor and lift your leg. Now the order the muscle should fire is: Glutes, Hammies, Back…mine went something like this:




and this is one of the rehab exercises I’ve been trying to do for the last 2 months and I STILL can’t do it!

In the same seminar, the speaker asked for ‘flat bum’ people…guess who was the flat bum model…yep, yours truly.

What does the flat bum indicate? Glute Amnesia!

So all this points to non functional glutes and everything else that should just be stabiliser muscles are acting as the primary worker muscles…no wonder they’re buggered and screaming out for a bit of help!

So Operation Gluteus Functionus is about to begin.

Tomorrow I am going to go through every single glute isolation exercise Aiden knows about and we are going to try every sinlge one of them until we can come up with a set that do not involve my hammies in any way shape or form.

Another area of imbalance that became clear is my overdominant quads and adductors and non existent VMO – all of which result in my knees dropping inwards when I squat. To fix that I need to get my abductors and VMO working by standing with my feet together, tying a theraband tightly around my knees, then standing with my feet hip width apart and THEN doing my sets of squats – this will work the external hip rotators, abductors, VMO  and glutes like you wouldn’t believe.

Wakey Wakey Glutes! You’ve got 42 years of catch up work about to hit you….

Mission Impossible?

I believe it may just turn out to be mission accomplished..

Hangin’ tough

Its been 4 weeks since my last surgery so I thought it would be a good idea to review my progress.

Going in to surgery, I had expectations that rehab would be difficult, I knew I would have to let go of the training and I knew I would have to just be patient and let nature do what it needs to do, I knew I there would be good days and bad days and days when I felt like throwing in the towel. But knowing something intellectually and doing it for real are totally different things.

Physically, its been very much a case of 1 step forward and two steps back. My shoulders are slowly improving I’m now working with therabands to strengthen my rotator cuff and I’m allowed to do rows, bicep curls and tricep kickbacks, so the static part of the rehab, in theory, is coming along quite well. However I’m still in constant pain – doing rows pulls the front of my shoulders, I get pain at the top of my bicep tendon when doing the curls and I’m supposed to be doing ‘push ups’  standing up against the wall, but any sort of upwards pressure is too sore . Day to day dynamic movements are also a source of consternation, for example, stretching to fill a cup of water from the tap, cleaning teeth, drying my hair, typing at the computer, any sort of lifting – plates, shopping, the kettle – anything that even comes close to involving engagement of my anterior delts feels like its tearing them. Any sudden movement causes crunching and shooting pains all the way down to my finger tips. I can’t sleep on my side because it presses on the shoulder joint, or on my front because I can’t use my arms to push upwards.

In addition to the shoulders, the physio suggested I work with the sports doc as well to co-ordinate my rehab. So having seen the sports doc 2 weeks ago and mentioned a few other painful parts, I was promptly sent off to have ultrasounds on my hammies and elbows – in for a penny in for a pound! 🙂

The results of the ultrasounds have not been good – slight tearing of the hammy tendons and tearing and bleeding in my elbows, so blood injections and acupuncture look like they’re going to become a regular feature along with the physio.

Scratch bicep curls, squats, lunges, plyometrics, leg curls, and any sort of presses from my training. In fact I’ve pretty much had to scratch training altogether, I’m reduced to walking, leg extensions, abs and calves – not much to be trying to building a comp prep around and once I start with the blood injections I won’t be able to do anything at all!! 😦

Needless to say,  its getting a little frustrating – I’m really missing being able to train – walking the 6 km to work doesn’t quite cut it in my book and I certainly dont count it as training! 🙂

Physically I’m a bit of a mess, but physical issues are easy to deal with – it just takes time and patience. What I’m finding tougher is the mental side of this…and I have to admit, that in this respect, I’m really struggling.

theres that little voice, you know the one, the one that creeps up on you and chips away at your belief and confidence…

whats the point of doing this? why bother? everyone else will have had 9 months to work on their pyhsiques and I haven’t, I’ll be so much smaller than everyone else, they’ll look so much better than me, I’m not going to have enough time to put on any mass, I’m not going to be ready in time, I wasn’t big enough last year so I’m definitely not going to be big enough now, I’ll be even further behind than last year, what if it takes another 3 months for my shoulders to be ready? what if the surgery doesn’t fix them? what if my hamstrings don’t fix…

at what point do I admit defeat and quit…


its noisy in there!

it also doesn’t help when I read daily reports from my would be competition saying how they ‘smashed legs/back/chest today’, ‘did a deadlift pb’, ‘felt the burn’, had an ‘awesome session’  it all adds to the feelings of inadequacy, failure, envy and a growing sense that this years comps are beginning to slip away…

But as anyone who does this sport knows, you have to be tough, disciplined and strong mentally as well as physically, and I have a choice. I can choose to lay down, be the victim and let this get the better of me – I can let the voice win, or I can choose to  hang in there, ride it out and keep going.

I will not quit. Some days its a real battle, I have to keep telling myself that this is just a temporary thing, and it will get better. I have to remind myself thats it’s only 4 weeks since my surgery and to focus on the progress I have made.

I remind myself how well I’m doing with my eating plan and how I’m leaning down at a perfect rate of 0.25-0.5kg a week, thats with hardly any exercise – what I’m learning about my body will be invaluable when it comes round to real comp prep.

A friend advised me to use my time well and become a student of the sport – and thats exactly what I’m doing. Next week is the ANB Getting the Edge workshop – which  I’m really looking forward to. Getting advice and tips from Lindy Olsen? Yeah, thats going to be good! 🙂

I’m practicing my posing (symmetry and legs only!), I’m studying nutrition for sports performance, I’m planning my routine and maybe even a new ‘look’ to go along with my new bikini’s from Jo 🙂

so I’m hanging in there and taking it easy, just like the doc ordered…and hoping that soon enough it’ll be one step forward then another step forward…then maybe a lunge…

I could get used to these lie-ins, though!  🙂