Before the army, I was never the most active individual (actually, am not that active now too). I played (really) amateur tennis, did terribly for my fitness tests in school, and eventually ended up serving two more months under the Physical Training Phase (PTP).
When I started my second year, I dislocated my right shoulder. Twice. (How: pull-ups, during a fitness test, sigh).
And since it happened during my National Service (NS) stint, it was easy to shrug the injury off. I had completed my reconnaissance course the year before, my medical status was automatically downgraded because the incidents happened in camp (so less worries about training, fitness tests, or reservist), and I could be conveniently excused for different activities. Not to mention the regular visits to the physiotherapist and specialist at the hospital (as a soldier trapped in a camp for extended periods, any time-off is enlivening).
Yet the inconveniences after the army are really getting to me, it seems. You never do fully recover from the dislocation, and so the shoulder pops out everywhere and anywhere (not all the time, though), when I was: pounding my arm in frustration on the bed, lunging to intercept a pass during a game of Captain’s Ball, trying to wear a T-shirt, reaching for a book by the side, and stretching my arms after I woke up. It pops right back in – uncomfortably – but it’s all cool.
Before the end of my service, the doctor recommended a surgical procedure to insert suture anchors (some medical repair device), but the parents were – rightly – concerned. I didn’t do it.
This is not some inspirational post (heck, as a resident sceptic, I am the last person who should be writing anything vaguely inspirational or aspirational). I don’t run insane miles, I don’t run marathons (maybe this will change), and I don’t have strict dietary or fitness regimes that I adhere to. Rather, maybe this is a little perspective on how things don’t always go your way, and all we can do is to manage our expectations and move on. Your mind and body (for me, my shoulder) will remind you of your vulnerabilities and regrets, but you just have to find ways to make things work for you despite the many, annoying inconveniences.
Me? I’ve learnt to love writing and running (and hence, this post).
Be right back – out for a run.