As the doc tells me why my shoulder has been hurting for the past… well… many years, I wonder when it happened. When did I become old? As he explains that my shoulder has developed arthritis, all I can think is, “arthritis?” My grandmother had arthritis. I’m still young…ish. What the hell? Then I quickly realize there are far worse diagnoses so relax… grandpa…
Still, I am left wondering when I crossed the threshold to guy with arthritis. The doc explains my particular spot and development is, “…Common in those who have lifted weights for many years as you have.” I never mentioned that I lifted weights so I guess that’s good. He saw me and assumed I did. I feel a little better.
I am prescribed physical therapy and told to take Aleve. If it doesn’t improve in four to six weeks we will discuss arthroscopic surgery. I am actually relieved because after one round of surgery earlier this year I am not looking forward to another. I dodge a bullet for now.
This brings me to a point I’ve been wanting to make for some time.
If you spend time surfing the manosphere you hear a lot of advice telling you to, “lift heavy.” Yes, it is beneficial, but over time it takes a toll on your body. I have spent a lifetime in gyms and with people who lift regularly. Those of us who have done a lot of heavy lifting have learned the hard way too much of a good thing is too much. I haven’t pressed overhead, or done any overhead work, in several years due to shoulder pain.
I am not telling you not you log gym time, I actually believe it is mandatory for able bodied men. For many reasons. I am saying be smart about it. Properly warm up, research proper form, know your limits, and realize that at some point father time will come for you like the grim reaper. You will need to learn a new normal, work around injuries, and know the difference between a little soreness (good) and injury (bad). If you’ve spend any significant time in a gym you will learn to recognize the difference.
You may not accept it, but you will recognize it…
Do not be me… Think of me as the ghost of Christmas Future.
Now a little story to explain why this news revealing my elderly status was not enough to depress me… Too much anyway.
Rewind ten minutes before meeting the doctor…
I am first taken to the x-ray room by a cute tech? Not sure of her title. After some small talk, she has me sit down and take a shot from the top. She has me cover my genitals with a lead cover.
Yes, I know an X-ray Tech is not a nurse, but I couldn’t find “Sexy X-Ray Tech” art…
Next, she has me stand for the final shots. She tells me to turn and guides me by the outer shoulders.
As she does, I feel her squeeze slightly as she asks, “Are you still lifting?” Again, I never said anything about lifting weights at any point of this visit. Of course, this fluffs my ego. Any man who denies this question would is lying.
I answer, “Yes why?” Still thinking there may be a medical reason for the question. Wouldn’t be the first time I read something wrong.
Her hands slowly slide inward, across my chest, over my nipples to the center of my chest and back out, again brushing my nipples. She says, “Nice…” Her hands end on my outer arms and she squeezes my biceps before letting go.
At this point I hear cheesy porn music playing in my head. I’m not tall, about 5’10, but this woman is about chest high on me. She is staring at my chest and shoulders during this exchange. I have my shirt on, it didn’t need to be removed for the x-rays.
She then turns and proceeds with the final shots before taking me back to the exam room.
As I sit waiting on the doctor, I wonder to myself what the hell just happened? Should I be happy, mad, should I say something? I decide to take the compliment and move on. Maybe I should report her, but then wouldn’t I be like those #metoo people? I have busted my ass in the gym for many years for many reasons, one of them is yes, the vain goal of looking good. I had someone appreciate my work. Instead I come up with a plan.
After telling my wife, she tells me she will be donning her work scrubs and we will be playing patient-x-ray tech this weekend. The wife thought the incident was funny by the way. Have I told you I am married to the least jealous woman on earth?
Her question via text was, “I know you. She didn’t get poked in the stomach by anything did she?”
I love my wife…