Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shoulder again

So, I had a cortisone shot in the AC joint of my left shoulder last Thursday.  I was instructed to take two rest days and not lift before Monday.  I was allowed to ski "as long as you don't fall on the shoulder".  Luckily, I managed to ski the entire weekend without falling at all.

Part of that was due to snow conditions, which kept me out of the really difficult terrain.  On Saturday, we had a cold day and due to the recent rain and freeze-up, every natural snow trail was closed.  Every snow-making trail was open, and with one exception, they were all groomed.  The one exception was a double-black run called Stein's Run, which was being used for a freestyle bumps competition.  I had one student in the comp, so we skied Steins twice on Saturday.  The snow-makers had made a lot of snow on the trail, and the first run was fairly pleasant.  By the time we returned, a lot of the new snow had been scraped away to reveal blue rock-hard moguls.  These were not fun to ski and my students insisted we not return.  So, I took them to Ripcord instead - a very steep double-black run that was groomed completely flat.  I wanted to work on tactics with them.  On steep ice, skiers tend to get defensive, and use techniques known as pivot slips or side slips.  The skier often feels out of control as speeds increase.  Instead, I wanted my group to spend time turning on the steep ice.  I wanted them to pretend the ice wasn't there.  I demo'd what I wanted them to do and then watched.  Half of them seemed to get it immediately.  The other half panicked, got defensive, picked up speed, and managed to prove the point of the lesson.  I will admit that I had a huge advantage over my students.  I am on fairly new skis and they'd just been tuned.  And my ski is particularly strong on ice compared to many other brands.

Some of the students needed sharper edges.  Or they might have done better with newer or higher performance skis.  But, in every case, I think the point of the lesson was driven home by their experience.  If they did what I asked, they felt in control.  If they didn't do what I asked, they didn't have fun.  But, they are mostly 12 years old.  Will the lesson stick?

On Saturday, the snow-makers were very busy and that continued into Sunday.  With a big holiday period arriving soon, and two distinct January thaws this season, our snow depths are well below normal and a lot of the closed trails are covered by a thin layer of bulletproof moguls.  The snow-makers did a fantastic job this past weekend and we had all kinds of "features" to play with on Sunday.  The kids spent most of the day jumping off of and over these features, with some of them working on 180s and 360s.  The day was warmer than many recent ski days and we skied a lot of runs.  All in all, it was a really fun day.

On Monday, I was able to return to lifting, but I was nervous.  By this point in time, the shoulder felt much, much better, and I'd slept through the night for four straight nights.  The workout included snatches and clean and jerks - two lifts that involve a barbell overhead.  I kept the weights light, although a bit higher than the previous week, and got through the workout mostly unscathed.  There was no pain, but the shoulder did seem a bit "angry" after the workout.  Nonetheless, I slept through the night without pain and felt better yesterday.

Yesterday's CrossFit workout didn't really hit the shoulders much, so I got through it OK, even though it was a difficult workout.

Tonight, we have Olympic lifts in the workout again, but I'm going to back off on the weights again.  Having the shoulder heal completely is way more important than any weight I can manage to put overhead in any one workout.               

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