by Beth Rodden
Hello everyone! Sorry if this blog is somewhat short, I am still typing one handed, which makes for slow typing and not very much patience on my part.
Just to give you a little history…I tore my labarum in June of 2009 while bouldering in Yosemite. The boulder problem that I tore it on is fun, but far from spectacular or memorable, which seems to be typical for me (I tore my ligament in my finger on the purple problem on my woody). But, none the less, I found myself deciding to rest for 6 weeks and then try and rehab and climb with the labarul tear. I went on an amazing trip to South Africa and thought I was coming back stronger than ever until I hurt a pulley on the opposite hand. While trying to favor the left hand and the right shoulder, I realized that my shoulder prevented me from climbing a variety of styles. Yes, I could climb vertical finger cracks, where my hands were always in front of me, but as soon as I tried wide cracks, gastons or steep climbing, my shoulder held me back, and I was faced with a very tough decision.
One thing that I have always envisioned in my life is climbing. Ever since I started climbing fifteen years ago, I cannot imagine a future without some sort of climbing. And in the end, I decided that longevity of climbing in my life far outweighed the six months or a year this might take me to recover from.
One thing that I think I am very blessed with through all of this is an amazing doctor, Dr. Isono. His office is laden with pictures of athletes from all types of sports: NFL players, baseball players, swimmers, marital arts, etc. which is very comforting to a professional athlete and exercise nut like me. He takes generous amounts of time to explain things to me, which usually eases my mind.
The last few days before my surgery, I had a last hoorah at climbing. My finger was slowly getting better after taking a month hiatus from climbing, and my shoulder allowed me to climb pretty easy things. Honestly, it felt a little strange to be climbing the day before surgery, and made me question why I might actually be getting the surgery. But sure enough, after an attempt on a slightly overhanging climb gave me the feeling that my shoulder might pop out of socket, I knew I needed to go under the knife.
I put together a short video on the surgery and the week or two afterwards. I am feeling better, but know I have a long road ahead.