Growing up as a kid, my parents always kept me active. If there wasn’t a tornado or hurricane coming through my town, my sister and I were not allowed in the house until dark. We had to stay outside and find things to do. We always played sports during the school year and joined a travel softball team in the summers.
Although I didn’t realize it then, I was extremely athletic and independent at a young age. And much to my chagrin at the time-mostly because it was beginning of the Instant Message Era -I can appreciate that motivation to be independent, athletic and conscience about my body and mind now, mostly because it has helped me recover and move on from a joint condition known as Bursitis. Sound familiar?
Starting at a young age, I told my parents I wanted to be a softball pitcher. Since I was the runt of the group, they were hesitant at the time, but quickly warmed up to the idea when they found me practicing outside against our garage everyday, all day. About seven years later I started to find myself waking up in the morning with a sore shoulder, tender to the touch and impossible to move some days. I thought about blowing it off, but when it got unbearable I knew I had to tell someone. My parents immediately took me to the doctor, where I was diagnosed with Bursitis. But I was just a kid!
Although I was diagnosed much earlier than most with Bursitis, in a short span of five years I was putting the stress of 40 years on my shoulder. I was a 16 years old in the body of an 80 year old. Therefore, I was willing to try anything to get back on the mound. So, what did this mean, especially for my future as a softball player? Well, I will tell you what it meant and what I had to go through to get myself back in pitching shape to make sure I got a scholarship to college.
Because I made a point to see a doctor in a timely fashion and get the help I needed to get through the pain, I was able to continue my passion on the mound. Over the next four years, I routinely went to physical therapy, had a special ice pack made for my shoulder and rested my body every second in between. I successfully got through high school and ended my senior year on the team with a full scholarship to play softball in college.
Ten years from my diagnosis, at the age of 26, I am in my prime and I credit my ability to stay focused on keeping my shoulder healthy and giving it the attention it was screaming for. These days, I am coaching the future generation of softball pitchers, and educate them that moderation is the key to a long lasting relationship with your body. Because I gave my shoulder an opportunity to heal itself, I am now able to do just about anything without the disabling shoulder pain I was experiencing as a teenager.
Do I have concerns about my future with Bursitis? Absolutely. And so should you. Through trial and error, I have learned a few tricks of the trade that have kept me active, healthy, while my Bursitis is sitting on the sidelines not able to play its own game on me. And by golly, we don’t want Bursitis playing its painful games on you either. Check back Wednesday to see the remedies I used to get back to myself, and what you can do to help yourself cope with a nagging case of Bursitis.