17 May 23

By Dominic Byrne

Single Parent Getting After It

I’m going to achieve a handful of goals that require an extremely high level of physical health, some of my running goals depend upon exceptional musculoskeletal health, which I do not have.

I did so much running as a school athlete and rugby player, that overuse and poor maintenance have taken a serious toll on various bones, tendons, ligaments, joints, and cartilage.

Rugby is a collision sport, so years of games and training give you a good beat down. I’ve had my fair share of high-impact injuries off the field too where my traveling inertia on skis or a bike has abruptly ended with the solid ground or a not-so-forgiving tree.

To start at my feet:
I have broken my little toe.
Fractured my heel.
Twisted ankles that saw foot swelling as big as a work boot.
I have dealt with chronic shin splints and patella tendonitis.
Syndesmosis injury to my left lower leg.
I’ve torn the meniscus in both knees.
Grade one, two, and three medial tears.
I have been sidelined for weeks with quadricep and hamstring tears. I once heard my own hamstring tear while running with the ball in hand.
I’ve had four transverse process spinal fractures.
Separation of the shoulder with an AC injury.
Broken both scapulars.
Snapped my clavicle.
Broken seven ribs at the front and back over several incidents, and one rib fracture has caused the bone to become misaligned.
I have had my fair share of the ever-so-painful costochondral separation (rib cartilage tears).
I’ve punctured a lung.
I have broken my jaw.
Fractured my cheekbone.
Broken my right wrist.
Snapped my left forearm (ulna and radius)
I’ve broken multiple fingers over the years including a spiral fracture of my left index finger, breaking my left thumb on three separate occasions and breaking three metacarpals in my right hand in one incident.

I have had screws and plates go in and out of my shoulder and arm. I still have titanium in my jaw, right wrist, and right hand.

I’ve had three knee operations, a hernia operation, and surgeries on my arm, wrist, hand, and jaw.

The most concerning injury/s of all is multiple concussions. I estimate that I have been knocked out approximately 20 times. Three of these involve memory loss.

Giving my family another scare..

At the present day, I’m currently dealing with significant body alignment issues:
I’ve had plantar fasciitis in my left foot since January 2022.
I have a pain-causing bunion on my left big toe that is about five years old.
Yet to be diagnosed but I believe I have a bad case of peroneal tendonitis in my left leg.
My knees (mainly at the patella) cause me a significant amount of discomfort with exercise.
My left knee accumulates and holds fluid when I ski.
My right hip protrudes at the back.
The tightness in my tibialis anterior muscles and tendons combined with tight quadriceps don’t allow me to sit on my heels while kneeling.
My left glute aches when seated on a chair.
The top of my cervical spine protrudes at the base of my skull.
My right shoulder sits half an inch lower than my left.
I keep tearing my right bicep when overloading it.
No matter how well-hydrated I am, I often cramp in my lower limbs with certain static holds.

If I was to rate my ability on a scale from one-to-10 to train for up to six months and compete in a marathon, 0 being unable to run at all and 10 being 100% capable. I am currently a two.

The good news is though, that I’ve taken myself from a zero to two in three months due to a huge amount of self-care. Staying off my feet; swimming, riding, and rowing instead of running. Ice baths. Feet therapy. Lots of stretching and the biggest contributor to improvements in my musculoskeletal health has been my 32 classes of Pilates since February.

The goal is to get my musculoskeletal health from a two to a seven before the year closes so I can run next year.

I heard a great quote on a podcast last week that sums up any ambition I have to enter into a triathlon, a marathon, or run around an athletic track and that is; “Be Consistent Before Heroic.” (Kelly Starrett)

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