by Beth Rodden

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that everyone had a wonderful time climbing, spending time with family, or doing nothing at all.

I am making much better progress after my last blog post. I am no longer an innate blob on the couch, although the excuse to be lazy is slightly missed. About a week or so after my surgery, I started making a conscious effort to walk every day. At first it wasn’t very far, a block or two, but slowly it grew into a half mile, then a mile, and then several miles. Luckily for me, I had many good friends and their furry canine companions visiting my house in Yosemite, and were able to entertain and distract me from the pain.

For the next three weeks, I became much more versed in using my left had for my dominant hand. Typing was extremely slow, opening a jar or a can was impossible, and I became a permanent passenger in the car.

The biggest thing at the forefront of my mind was following the doctor’s instructions and generally being a ‘good patient.’ With past injuries, I have assumed the ever so common athlete mindset; that the doctor’s instructions are for the laymen, and actually I can do much more than they state. With this mindset, I successfully turned my foot injury and a three-month cast sentence into a nine-month ordeal. I assumed when the doctor told me that I couldn’t weight the foot, that he meant, I couldn’t weight the front part of the foot (where the broken bone was) but the back of the foot was fine, so I rode the stationary bike with the pedal strategically positioned on my heal. And when he progressed into saying I could gently start weighting it again, I took my boot to Sportiva and we glued sticky rubber on the front of it so I could start climbing again. Needless to say, I was a horrible patient, and wrote my own destiny with the foot. However, this time, I am determined to follow instructions. Unfortunately this has led me to being a complete hypochondriac with my shoulder, and any pain I feel, or any odd noise I hear. I am just hoping that I have done an okay job and my one slip on the ice didn’t destine me for another shoulder surgery later on…

I made a short video (pardon my amateur skills, perhaps I will start improve slowly in this arena) about starting physical therapy and a little of my short, ‘one armed life.’ Thanksgiving was wonderful as always, but I had to recruit some help to complete my normal duties of pie-making. I actually should not even say ‘help’ it was more of a ‘take over’ as I am sure if left to my five-handed self, I would have produced nothing that resembled a pie.

I hope you enjoy, and one of these days, there will actually be pictures and video of my climbing again….that is if I behave myself. Wish me luck. I also want to offer my sympathy to Paxti Usobiaga. I heard that he just went through the same shoulder surgery over Christmas. However, I also read that Chris Webb Parsons, who went through this in early 2009, is crushing the boulders in Bishop, which gives all of us shoulder gimps hope! Yay.


joys of shoulder surgery

Hi Beth welcome to the torn labrum followed by surgery club! I too blew my right shoulder climbing in July and had the surgery in August. Just last week I was released to start training and climbing again.

I totally understand what you mean when saying every little noise or funny feeling makes you worry. 6 months after surgery and I am still daily worried that any funny move I make will cause me to have to do it all over again! But I am slowly starting to train again. The hardest part is my body knows the technique and the moves, but my muscle strength to do so is gone.

But if there is any good out of all of this I have learned that I truly love climbing because just simple traversing is now amazing!


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