It's now 3 months after an operation to my left shoulder to fix 2 tears including a rotator cuff tear. I now understand how complex the shoulder is, what the different tendons are, etc, but what I really want to know is when I can get back to competing in triathlons?
So far (touch wood) my recuperation has gone really well. My advice to anyone in the same situation is to follow the physio exercises to the letter. Working on the basis that I would be able back on the bike after 3 months, I have just treated myself to a 'recuperation training camp' in my Spanish home. Off I flew with my training partner PT Pete which may well have been a mistake, more on that later...
After managing 110k in the Spanish mountains over the first couple of days, I thought it would be useful to test the shoulder on a trail run through the Sierra Nevada. I had planned a 12k run but 18k later with 1,000m of climbing we got back to base - this may not have been a wise move but the shoulder seem to handle it.
Since Pete was carrying an injury and my shoulder was probably not up to too much trail running it was back on the bike the next day and boy did we cycle through some great Spanish countryside; quiet roads, up and down mountain passes, through incredibly diverse landscapes and always with the Sierra Nevada as a spectacular backdrop.
I had planned an easy week to get back into training but it didn't quite turn out that way - probably not helped by having a training partner who can get up Ditching Beacon in 6 minutes as someone to follow up mountain roads! By the time he left, we had covered 350k and climbed 8,000m which is nearly the height of Everest.
So did coming to Spain for some cycling and running action help with the recuperation? You bet it did, both physically and mentally. Clearly I need to thank my Shoulder specialist Ms Lisa Tourret, the hospital physio Owen Harris and of course Quentin.
Oh, I forgot, we even managed to get some reservoir swims in as a bit of balance. Overall, I'd heartily recommend this sort of week; it really is good for the soul as well as the shoulder.