I’ve had my surgery, and it was a rousing success. The doctor said that there was wear on the rotator cuff, but no actual tearing. He’s opened up the gap so that there is more room for the rotator cuff to move without wearing on the acromium(?). After the surgery, I was a little concerned that half my tongue was numb (although I could still taste with it), but that numbness is getting a little bit less every day and currently just involves about 2 millimeters of the tip of my tongue. Over the last two weeks since the surgery, I’ve been seeing less pain and more range of motion, although I’ve still got lots to recover. I start physio next week, and I’m going to do every exercise they give me, and then some. I got the doctor to sign the request for physio for both shoulders, so maybe I can stave off the same thing happening on the other side. I’ve also been approved for limited driving, although without being able to raise my arm very high it probably wouldn’t be good to go out in a snowstorm or long drives on the thruway just yet.
Obviously the good news has me re-evaluating my plans for this kayaking season. It’s going to take a while to get back into the shape I was in last year after 6 months completely off, and however long it takes me to regain full mobility. So I think I still have to consider the spring races a complete impossibility. I might be able to do some of the summer races, although I don’t think I’ll be competitive. But really, I think what I need and want most of all for this summer is to get better in surf and waves in the ski, and also (once I’m better in the ski) even in the Thunderbolt. My dream is to be as good as Ken, but I’d settle for being as good as guys like Mike or Bill. (That’s not a slam at the other guys – Ken is amazing in the waves, and I don’t think anybody would deny that. Dan and Doug are almost as good, but they don’t look as at home there as Ken, and then a few steps below that comes everybody else, and then a bunch of steps below all them comes me.)
So the big question in my mind is whether I should aim everything at being good and fast in time for Long Lake, or whether I could build up the enormous distance base I’d need to race The 90. I don’t think I could hang with Doug or Mike in the 90, but I could probably finish. Either way I’m going to have to put in a lot of hours, both on the water and off. And I’m putting aside the money now for a SpeedStroke to help towards that goal. I know a lot of people say they get bored doing hours on the SpeedStroke, but I’ve done several 1.5 hour workouts on other people’s SpeedStrokes and I enjoyed it.
Last year my goal was to do 650-700 miles during the year and then 800+ the year after to prepare me for the 90, and I actually managed 778, but I’m probably not going to manage 800 in 2011. So I don’t know where that leaves me.