Panther has a screw loose, gets strapped by the Sac Fitness Fairy

So twenty years ago I suffered a fairly horrific leg break that led to a 7 pin plate being bolted to my fibula. I never removed it. And it has come back to haunt me.

Last week I was doing some “homework” and about 270 mountain climbers in I felt discomfort from the right leg. When I stood I knew I had a problem, I could feel the area under the plate aching. That hadn’t happened for since the original injury. Over the next few days things only felt worse so I went to go see the body mechanic.

3 X-Rays later we had the news: no fracture (phew) but the bottom 3 screws had backed out so much that you could actually “see through” the plate’s holes to the bone in 2 of the 3 shots. This, as they say in the movies, was definitely not good. This was out of my doctor’s league so she punted me to the ortho trauma specialists, who I will see in a week or so. There’s a strong probability that the plate will have to come out, meaning a long recovery.

So why am I sharing this with you, my dear readers (well, other than you love and care about me…)? I am sharing this because one of the big reasons a lot of people get hiccups in their health and fitness is from letting things like injuries and untoward occurrences get in the way.

I rolled right into Urijah Faber’s Ultimate Fitness with a slight limp in my step, but a determination that if I can’t go through, I’ll go around, whatever it takes to keep working.

This is where a great trainer like the Sac Fitness Fairy comes in. After a brief explanation of the injury and what sorts of things may make it worse, she modified my workout to avoid those things. One big thing to focus on was using TRX straps to intensify the difficulty while lowering impact on that gimpy leg.

If you thought I’d be cruising through today’s workout, you’d be very, very wrong. It was fairly brutal, as always.

Since running on a treadmill is verboten (the shearing force of the belt is not a good thing) I did a 12 minute medium pace walk on an incline while doing cross chest, elbow up curls with 10lbs in each hand. The reason for the weights (outside of OMG IT IS SUMMER) is that when you activate more of your body you raise your heart rate and it helps to warm you up. After 12 minutes of that I thought perhaps my arms might fall off.

We then ran through a fairly simple workout routine, where you had 2 movements, one after another, each one at 20 reps (with a couple exceptions). You then went through the 2 again and moved onto the next two.

The first 2 movements were a 2 legged squat with an ever the shoulder double bicep curl (TRX) on the up portion, followed by a “candle” while holding a heavy bag while laying on the ground. The latter movement basically has you push your feet towards the ceiling until only your shoulders are on the ground. 20 of each, 2 times through.

Then we moved onto an angled plank (arms up in superman holding the straps) while bringing each elbow into your body on alternate sides. This one is really tough to explain, but works the shoulders, core and upper back like gangbusters. 10 each side for a total of 20 reps. Then we moved back to the floor and locked the feet under the heavy bag this time, and did situps with a cross backhand punch on each side (so activate the side of your core). 20 of those, then once again through both movements.

Then we did a very odd pushup, where you twist your lower legs to the side (they are suspended in the TRX straps) and do a pushup, and when you push to the top you do a slight pike. All kinds of super stability stuff going on there. The other movement was supposed to be a 1 legged squat with a “pull back” on the straps, but my knees conspired against us and I did it 2 legged for 20 reps instead, then once again through both exercises.

The final group looked so damn easy when SFF did it. I mean, like… why would I even do that easy. This is, of course, where my inner voice should say “THIS IS A TRAP SIR”. First I lay on the ground on my back, holding a 10lb bell in each hand. I pike my legs towards the ceiling and then do little “bursts” of trying to touch my toes for 20 reps, followed immediately by 20 leg lifts without letting them touch the ground. Yowza. The sister exercise looked so easy I almost laughed. You get in a pushup position while holding the dumbells. Then you pull one in to your chest, extend it out sideways, bring it back in, then put it back to the floor. I almost said “oh, maybe I should do a pushup too”. Thank goodness I kept my big mouth shut. The stability requirements by themselves to just keep your hips square are pretty rough. Combine that with a very odd position that you are trying to put the weight to and 10 on each side might make you want to tear up a little bit. I got through 2 rounds of each of those and basically fell on my face.

Don’t let an injury get you down, slow you down or derail your progress. There are almost always things you can do, you just need to make the choice to do them.

6 thoughts on “Panther has a screw loose, gets strapped by the Sac Fitness Fairy

  1. My sister in law suffered a horrific break about four years ago now; she slipped in the shower and somehow managed to shatter her leg. Once she was better – and it was as you say, it’s a long recovery – it motivated her to lose some phenomenal amount of weight and is now entering into marathons. I will never say this to her face, but I admire how hard she has pushed herself, even with her limp.

    Same for you, Mark. You are most definitely an inspiration! If you can push through this and still do insane workouts with a freakin’ hole in your leg, I can push past my twinging ankle and actually get off my arse and walk the dog or party on the treadmill.

    I hope they have some good news for you and you don’t have to suffer too long <3

    • Neri, thank you for sharing that! It makes me feel good to be an inspiration, and just remember that not only CAN you do it, but to be patient. The results and rewards definitely take time but they are so worth it. 🙂

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  3. Hello there, I found your site from Mama Needs Mana’s post about getting motivated and back on the fitness track when you’re not exactly going to be on the cover of “Natural Fitness Monthly” or any of those other supplement selling vehicles. I’ll start keeping an eye on the blog as it’s something I’m personally interested in

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