This article will be unusual for a few reasons:
1. It discusses my off-road life
2. It’s personal
3. It’s something I’ve never experienced and challenges the six energy habits
I’m known as a very healthy guy and work hard to keep this elite status both on the road and at home.
Then 2020 hit. If Covid-19 wasn’t disruptive enough in every area of life, 2020 was brutal on the health side in the Buck Fam.
In May, my 9-year old was severely burned and it was one of the scariest moments of my life as I wondered if my son would have skin damage for the remainder of his life. He’s come a long way amidst this scare and time will tell on the long-term scarring.
Then I had a colonoscopy and a scope done due to unknown stomach issues. Another rough health stretch that required going in-and-out of the hospital.
Over the summer, I severely bruised my rib and pulled some muscles playing with the kids that required X-rays and an MRI and dramatically affected my summer. #RoughHealthStretch
I had the mother of all falls. And due to the severely bruised rib and pulled muscles, I instantly protected my ribs at the cost of my shoulder. For weeks, I just pushed through it and it kept getting worse. Then… my 4-year old flew through the air with the greatest of ease from a retaining wall and absolutely finished the job on my left shoulder.
The next day something pops and a few days later, I’m getting an MRI. If the technician’s face had words, it was “you have no idea what you’re in for buddy.” 24 hours later I’m seeing a specialist at Northwestern Medicine in the Chicago land area who told me I had multiple tears in my rotator cuff. Within 36 hours, I meet with the surgeon, and my surgery was made for the next possible surgery slot.
Now, if you’ve ever had “one of those surgeries” everyone has a story for, you know what I’m talking about and this is definitely in that category. At this point, I listen, smile, or read the text, and just say thank you.
Surgery happened a few days ago,
Exposed Struggle #1 – I’m getting little to no movement
Movement creates energy.
First taken away was my ability to lift any weights after the initial injury which was an immediate red flag that something was wrong. After the 2nd blow, I lost the ability to do any cardio due to the pounding on the shoulder.
This has left me to standing and walking which as you know, “something, anything is better than nothing.”
But I’m feeling the loss of Run More and Lift More in Energy Habit One: MOVE.
Post-surgery, I’m having to spend a ton of time icing so my stand time has decreased as well.
Physical therapy starts soon and it will be three months of intensity – bring it on.
I know this will be the longest of my exposed struggles due to the nature of the injury but each day feels like a month at this point.
Word to Myself: Walk Away – I need to increase my walk time every chance I get every single day and no matter what the weather
Exposed Struggle #2 – I’m unstructured and unproductive
I was able to get work done pre-surgery up until the back-to-back tests and doctor appointments but I had no idea how much I would be scattered and unmotivated post-surgery.
My pain has been higher than planned and for the first time I’m balancing lack of meds and pain with clarity or more meds, less pain, and cloudy. #NotAFan
I don’t have my normal morning routines because my nights are absolutely brutal. Even though I took off work and I’m playing it day-by-day, each day just feels like a meandering of nothing really getting done.
And for someone who is a high achiever and loves seeing results, there is more pain than just my shoulder shooting pains!
I get it. I’m days after a surgery that majorly affects my day-to-day life. But I’m already done with feeling like I’m wasting hours and now, days.
Word to Myself: Get a Plan – I need to start with my morning routine to begin my day with structure and then choose one major thing I can accomplish every single day.
Exposed Struggle #3 – I’m a night owl again
By nature, I come alive in the evening especially if I stay up past 10:00 pm. Something in my body ignites and I’m ready to go another round or two.
I used to stay up late all the time. I can blame the NBA and MLB playoffs which usually are my fall mistress but it’s far more than just some games that I don’t have a dog in the fight. My family goes to bed and I’m clocking hour after hour of awake time which I used to be “that guy.”
Word to Myself: Sleep with your wife! I need to go to bed with my wife no matter what even if it takes me forever to crash. I need to put a “kibosh” on this loose bedtime which is never good.
Exposed Struggle #4 – I’m lazy on my eating
My meds have affected my appetite so I’m all over the place of what and when I’m eating.
Then you add the exposed struggle of becoming a night owl again. And what did I do when I stayed up late before? Trashed a perfectly good eating day in a matter of moments with the late-night cravings.
I cannot depend on those around me to make good choices for me. Unfortunately, when I’m not working out, I’m lazier on my diet but I cannot let this one go especially with being down for three months of intense physical therapy.
I know better and need to get a new hot streak going in the right direction eating healthier.
Word to Myself: MTHC (Make the Healthiest Choice) – I need to continually hydrate more along with eat cleaner and greener
Exposed Struggle #5 – I’m not sleeping
Between us girls, the roughest part of my post-surgery recovery has been sleeping (or the lack thereof). I’m like a pet taking multiple short naps through the night. And it’s absolutely killing me. It affects my early morning routine which I mentioned, and then it affects my structure and productivity, already mentioned.
I have this gadget called the “ultra sling” which keeps my arm in a certain position for my rotator cuff to heal after multiple tears that had to be re-attached. I get it and understand it but I struggle so much during the night time.
It was recommended to sleep in a recliner but again, that’s the nap spot and I’m just not comfortable there all night every night. I prefer my bed.
And as a result, I may be in my own bed, then the recliner, then the guest bed all in one night and it’s killing me, smalls!
Word to Myself: Don’t make it worse – I need to make the best of the rest I get knowing it will eventually get better
Exposed Struggle #6 – I’m drinking at home like I’m entertaining on the road
This one has been already in the works with Covid and all of the changes that have challenged my family and especially me the past six months.
But I’ve succumbed to drinking to make me feel better and this is a slippery slope at best. I’m not in a good place and drinking all the time like I’m entertaining on the road is not the answer.
I’m drinking less amounts but the frequency needs to be addressed.
I’m not a good example in this area for my kids and this needs to matter to me more especially right now since everyone is home all of the time.
Word to Myself: Lay off the Sauce – I need to “be dried out” during the week. No excuses.
These side exposed struggles have exposed three primary emotions I’m experiencing on a consistent basis:
- Frustration – I can’t move as I’ve always done. I literally cannot move my arm and it’s paralyzing and frustrating to need so much help and struggle on so many simple tasks like taking a shower, getting dressed, really anything that requires two hands
- Anxiety – I’ve never had a limb so damaged and affect my life and it’s created this rare emotion in me. I’m anxious around people. I feel trapped in the sling especially at night and it’s revealed a level of anxiousness that is concerning to me.
- Depression – I’ve not been one to stay discouraged or depressed for long but all of the financial and health blows my family and I have suffered this year have put me in a place where I’m fighting this demon. It’s also feeding some of these struggles such as not eating well, not wanting to go for a walk, not caring if I’m structured or productive, and definitely drinking too often.
I need to be honest, I hate admitting these struggles but I want to be real to you in the good and the bad. This unexpected injury and now surgery exposed these struggles and deep emotions that are overwhelming but part of my journey right now especially being off the road.
I hope you found my vulnerability sincere and refreshing. As my brother has taught me for decades, “this too shall pass.” I’ve been through worse and will choose to grow through it not just go through it.
I’m blessed to have close friends and a counselor to process these struggles and emotions which is absolutely critical right now in my life. I want to help you become and remain an Elite Road Warriar today to eliminate burnout and exceed results.
You Got This!