Fitness Goal Update: Bad News

You might recall I had this goal to teach myself to do a back walkover while chillin’ like a villain in Kabul. If anything, you’d think the fact I’m way too old for this gymnastics shit would be the biggest hurdle, but no.

Turns out my goddamn shoulders are the LIMFAC (that’s how we say “limiting factor” in military-speak, because we like shortening words and then capitalizing them). I have this AC-joint separation issue, which is when your collar bone and shoulder blade pull away from each other because of some kind of blunt force trauma to the shoulder. At first I couldn’t think of any reason I would have this particular problem. It’s not like I put a lot of stress on my shoulders…well, except all those times I practiced falling on my side and got slammed into the ground during Taekwondo, for years…Oh. Well shit.

Truth is, I’ve known I had this problem for about a decade, but since I’ve never tried to do a back walkover before, or made a habit out of holding my arms above my head for long periods of time, it’s never been a major problem. Unfortunately for me, a back walkover requires you to lock your arms above your head, past the plane of your back, so you can support your weight when you kick over. Try as I might, I can’t lock my arms behind my head and put weight on them without excruciating pain. In fact, I can’t lock my arms at all when I’m in a backbend, so powering through it isn’t an option. It feels like trying to pull a joint back too far; your body instinctively tells you No, idiot.

And my mom told me to stop doing it. She’s a nurse, so I have to listen.

But there is a silver lining – I can still do a handstand pain-free! For some reason, that doesn’t hurt. One goal is still within reach.

So, giving up on the back walkover, I’ve decided to refocus my efforts on relearning all the Taekwondo forms I’ve forgotten, which means I’ll be doing what looks like a weird dance in the tiny stretching room at the gym while everyone stares at me (especially the Georgians) and wonders what the hell I’m doing. But hey, any goal worth looking like an idiot for isn’t gonna be easy!

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