Sunday, 16 March 2008

Powerball Addiction and Injury Update

Well my bouldering might be going downhill, however I'm rapidly becoming addicted to powerballing!

I bought a Powerball based on the recommendation of a friend who suggested it as a way to maintain a bit of strength in my forearms without aggravating my shoulder injury.

The first day I got it I struggled to get a score of over 8,000 RPM. Gradually I increased my score and today I got over 10,000 RPM's. My physio reckons that Powerballing won't help my injury, but it won't hurt it either.

As for the injury itself, well it's coming along. I progressed to a new set of physio exercises and was told that I should be able to run without pain this week (oh joy).

I'm still avoiding climbing for the time being. I just recently read an article given to me by a friend from Performance Rock Climbing which said that time off from climbing can actually help you to climb better. One suggestion was that you wipe the slate clean for all engrams that you previously developed. Hopefully better ones will take their place. I have poor posture when climbing, so hopefully when I go back to climbing I can learn to engage my back more as suggested at the end of this article, more on this as and when I return to climbing.

I'm also using this time to focus on what I want to achieve in climbing and am contemplating having an actual career again.

However, I'm still quite down about not being able to climb and loosing strength. Last night I snuck in a few pull-ups on the fingerboard, just to see if I still could. Shhh - don’t tell my physio.

I'm currently undecided about when to return to climbing. I still have quite a bit of pain despite taking over 5 weeks off. My physio said that I have an abnormally painful case of SIS and I just have to keep this in mind. I don't think the pain is going to go away any time soon. However I might do some gentle climbing in a few weeks time. As per the Dave MacLeod article I don't think that I stand to gain much from a more lengthy lay-off.

I'm in two minds... I'll just see how it goes for now.


Stuart said...

Don't go climb yet and listen to your physio - Seriously. If your shoulder hurts alot it won't work properly and will try to guard itself, meaning its likely that your good shoulder will 'take over' creating further imbalance. Its sensible to stay away even if you think you can get away with gentle climbing - Its too tempting to try something harder (particularly if you're someone that likes to crank!) and its really easy to do more damage and undo any good work that you've already done. I'm 3 weeks into a 6-8wk+ lay-off because of my shoulder. Yeah it sucks (especially hearing about all your buddies going out and ticking), but just think about how much better you'll be with a fully working shoulder!

Sarah Clough said...

The article wasn't saying that a lay off causes you to scrap old and develop new engrams, just that it allows you to reorder the old ones to miss out unecessary commands, the examples it gives being "clench teeth" and "hold breathe". I don't think your brain can learn totally new engrams without doing the movements, but it can improve the old ones.

Jenn said...


Thanks for your comments! Yes, I agree with what you said - it’s just difficult to stay away from climbing for so long :-(

Jenn said...

Hey Sarah,

Sorry I got it wrong - I guess it was just a bit of wishful thinking on my behalf!

Sarah Clough said...

I wouldn't say you got it wrong, just interpreted it differently - obviously just eager to hear good news :) I think it's still good news anyway, that you can improve technique by not climbing. Which may be great for you, since you say you use strength more than technique ;)

Jenn said...

Yep, I've always been more of a strength person, but I guess when I go back, I'm going to have to rely more on technique - eek!