2nd Shoulder Surgery – Onwards and Upwards!!!

There I was. Listening to the jolly anaesthetist chatting away as I smiled to myself. I had been here before – it was round two. I had a really good gut feeling about this second shoulder operation; I was ready.

It has, on one hand, been a long two years of rehab since my first operation repairing my dislocated shoulder…yet at the same time it has flown by. I am very, VERY glad to have blogged my experience throughout this period as I now have that to learn from, ensuring this time round I can better my decisions and rehab. Like I have said, I had a very good feeling about this – maybe I knew I needed it for a long time. I had been unfortunate with the circumstances after getting frozen shoulder (reason unknown) which set me back many months. Injections appeared to give a temporary release but then the new found range would diminish, appearing that the throwing action of javelin did not bode well with the shoulder. However, I am very glad I decided to go for this operation, as only 5 days post op I have, unbelievably, full range in flexion and external rotation – and only taking one diclofenac a day! 😀

Here is the animation of my type of surgery on Len Funk’s channel if you’re interested to know what went on in such a tiny space – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feEopNmKuzk

Also here is my video pre/post operation and a demonstration of the exercises I am currently doing. Sorry for the singing 😉

Time to take things slow, at my own pace and to look forward to having a shoulder ready for a good winter training bout.surgerydates
Thank you for the support I have had and to the BramFam ❤


EXCITING TIMES AHEAD!! 1) 2nd shoulder surgery 2) Starting crossfit

Aaaaah I am so excited!!!
Firstly, I have got my 2nd shoulder procedure date through – 10th September 2015 – during which I will be having my shoulder capsule loosened if Len Funk feels it is required! I am really excited for this as I feel this could really be the part of my recovery where I could FINALLY have the range I want. I really am excited about this – I have a good feeling about it all!

It has now been to years post op since 22nd June 2013 when I had my first shoulder operation and it has been a long battle, yet I have still remained passionate to throw competitively again. This Summer I have started crossfit to build up my fitness and strength ready for the coming winter training starting from October. I AM ABSOLUTELY LOVING IT. Crossfit training really appeals to me for the huge variety of exercises; a combination of weights, gymnastics, running, body weight exercises etc. I treat alot of the crossfit community with sports massage in Loughborough and I feel so welcome in their gym – the people are lovely and have really helped me with the training. I have posted here a 3 minute training video, a combination of a week’s sessions in July! It really highlights the amount of leggings I have hahaha! #Addiction

Hopefully this sort of training will get me in really good shape ready for beasting this year’s winter training. 2016 WILL BE THE YEAR I WILL FINALLY COMPETE! Hopefully the recovery time for this second procedure in my shoulder will be around 4 weeks ish, so this will have minimal impact compared to last time!

I will give updates on how I get on with surgery in September and hopefully make a video if I am not too high on medication afterwards!

EXAMS ARE FINITO! Time to focus and enjoy the Summer :D

Woop-de-doo SUMMER EXAMS ARE FINITO! 😀 Until next year!

It’s been a bit of a slog, but I have enjoyed the challenge of the “remembering game” (my short term memory is TERRIBLE) and the feelings of freedom are currently sky high!! Third year has been much more of a step up to second year….**beware second years**….the term “critically analyse the current literature” will be read EVERYWHERE! All modules I have taken were my choice as opposed to compulsory not-quite-ma-kinda-thang modules; I feel I have learnt alot more relatable information that I can use in training, working with other people/athletes and to optimise my own health! I have particularly enjoyed studying nutrition, despite mine being – what I would say – tongue-in-cheek #NOPE. Snapchat recently has been saying it all. BUT THE NUTELLA PANCAKES LOOK SO GOOOOD – no no no. NO.


Wait, yes. Look at these nails I found on Insta…

nutella nails
Now is the time to get my head focused on javelin; training, hydration and nutrition! I haven’t trained for over a month and a half because I chose to prioritise my exams and revision. This has been one of the best choices I have made and the difference I have felt going into exams has been…frankly awesome! My last exam results weren’t what I expected and it was a shock. However, this time round, I learnt from my mistake of trying to do FAR TOO MUCH in a day. I therefore cut back training which has given me a break, after which now I am HUNGRY to get back into fitness and throwing spears properly again, and sports massage has also taken a back seat. I found that I have been far less stressed and in a better frame of mind to focus, instead of struggling to remain in revision mode whilst the adrenaline or tiredness after training was flowing through me.

HA HA HA something has just reminded me. This made my day. Listen in ‘ere. In my nutrition exam today…..the first question was “What is an isotonic drink?” and the second was “What are the four main constituents of an isotonic drink?” Some unexpected, but fairly easy questions to ease me into the exam….and JUST BEFORE THE EXAM I bought a Lucozade sport as a nice flavoursome drink which would, in my own little world, stimulate my taste buds and the part of the brain assoicated with “reward”, therefore possibly helping me to remember information. WELL. My eyes lit up as I read those questions!! (For the record, I knew those answers without looking at the ingredients but STILL, one extra smile to self during the exam didn’t hurt!)

2 hours later and I was non stop smiling whilst a kingsize Toby Carvery was being consumed. NOM. I am currently in Southport supporting my landlord/friend in his British finals in body building! I’ll post some photos I am sure! Check him out and follow the progress 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/JoshMaleyBodybuilder?fref=ts

Now is the time to get focused and ENJOY the summer! Tick off a few bucket list items…synthesise some Vitamin D…move out the old house and into the new…and celebrate 21 years of birth!

AND get blogging again. I’ve missed reading and blogging – expect to hear more of this Northern twaaang!

Steroid injection and shoulder simulator experience!

Aaaaaah!!! 😀 

Today’s appointment has jump started things again! It was good to see our Len again – he believes that the problem I have now is different to my initial problems I had when I injured my shoulder. He said he requires me to have a steroid injection to loosen off my shoulder and an MR Arthrogram where dye is injected into my capsule for Len to see how the repairs have come along.

I was faced with two options – pay for all of this myself and have the diagnosis today or go on the NHS and wait. Luckily, there was a third option for me to have the not-so-expensive steroid injection TODAY and have the MR Arthrogram on the NHS. I’m glad Mum made me hold back with things and save my money! Tah ma.

It all happened quite quickly and I didn’t really get chance to get nervous about the needle (thanks Len!) and the injection was over in a few seconds. An hour after and my shoulder feels now SO MUCH MORE FLEXIBLE OMG!! I don’t have any pain at all at the moment, just a nice smooth flexible joint! 🙂 I am cherishing every minute without pain in my shoulder right now! Len told me to start stretching it as soon as I can to keep this range. Worth every penny!

I need a letter from the GP now to have the MR Arthrogram so this should be a little wait. I am excited for this as Len will be able to see if there is anything going on inside the joint. I’ll be a regular traveller up to Manchester! In the meantime, if this injection appears to work then there may be no need to have anything else done! Only time will tell 🙂 

Thanks a lot to Benji and his dad for taking me to the clinic (52 Alderley Road) and to Len for giving me a much needed boost! 

One last thing…..Len let me have a go on the SHOULDER SURGERY SIMULATOR. How cool is that?! I had a go….and I got the high score 😮 maybe I’m in the wrong degree hahaha!! Here’s a pic on the simulator with the shoulder!

The pink thing is the plastic shoulder and the things I am holding are the cannulas that a surgeon would use to probe into the shoulder and to tie wires/stitches. Loved it! 

A deeper insight / Len Funk appointment soon!

For me, being injured has knocked me back a few steps but has also leapt me forward too. Adversity really does make the highs higher and knowledge and skills I have gained throughout my injury have been invaluable. It has helped me to succeed in many ways; through working hard to build my own sports massage business, being more knowledgable about my own body in training and learning a heck of a lot about shoulders! 

On the contrary, this has not come without many lows. The reason I keep myself ridiculously busy is so I have minimal time by myself to slip into thinking negatively about javelin and the pain I still get when throwing. That speck in time when my shoulder dislocated with 85kg above my head still rings in my head, playing over and over – it still has the same effect as it did 2 years ago when I sustained the injury. It is easy when you’re alone to spiral into this dark whirlwind of thought and so the best thing for me has been that I have been able to be around people a lot of the time, whether working or training. THANK YOU TO ALL THESE PEOPLE!! 🙂 

Recently I contacted Len Funk aka shoulder god and he would like to do some tests on me to see if something is still going on in the shoulder. I have got an appointment on MONDAY (so soon!!) to see him – I am looking forward to this very much! Hopefully he will be able to tell me exactly what is happening and possibly any ways I can improve 🙂

I will write an update after Monday’s appointment 🙂 



Who would have thought that I would have entered a competition after not throwing a shot put since 2009 and only having done 1 throwing session earlier in the week!

This has all stemmed from my coach saying I should take up another sport alongside javelin to 1) help with my shoulder and keep me active 2) distract a little from the stagnation in training recently! I thought it would be a good idea to try shot again as it was one of my stronger events in mi pentathlon days, coupled with the fact that OUR DOUG was willing to coach me. We did a throwing session with the shot on Wednesday, after which I spontaneously signed up for the Loughborough Open comp.

I couldn’t believe this would be the first time representing Loughborough and competing for over two years I have been studying here, never mind INDOOR events!! The six throw succession went like this….(also the video is at the bottom).

Shot results 10th Jan

And ended up with a big PB of 10.82m! 😀 I was VERY ‘appeh with that! My flatmates were filming me and Sam was giving me a bit of advice on getting my right leg underneath me so I have more weight behind the shot – as you can see this one thing resulted in a jump from 10.17m to 10.82m! This is what I love about athletics and sport – being able to improve your positioning/movements/way of thinking, resulting in a more efficient and further throwing distance in this case! Apparently I have a “javelin hip” which strikes forward instead of the “shot hip” that strikes UP! Plenty to work on. He’s a few pics…

Holding shot

Glide shot

For me, this has given me a big positive boost. I am surprised at how much it has effected how I throw the javelin and my thoughts towards throwing – I now do believe in myself to get back to throwing considerable distances again. The past few months have been fairly stagnant in terms of distance/technique improvements, but I threw today and I could tell I was in a much better frame of mind to throw. Today I was throwing about 5m further which really is a great improvement for me after throwing the same distances for so long.

I will be competing again on 31st Jan to try and better my PB – I can’t wait! This will be a good warm up to working towards outdoor javelin competitions.

Here is my PB throw video! Thanks Alex for taking this 😀 http://youtu.be/421onYU7tck

Massage tools

Na then. I thought I would share just a couple of things which I think are quite interesting.

I had a massive urge to get “one-of-those-head-thingies-which-look-like-a-spider-and-go-on-your-head-like-this” (I act it out to the shop owner). This description seemed to work pretty well in the five shops that I ventured to in order to find this marvelous creation. What I am talking about is one of these.

A head massager. Much simpler that my waffle.

head massager

So these weird looking things CLAIM to relieve joints and increase blood circulation by using it on the head (yep – amazing), knee (ok…), hands (what?) and face (surely they are taking the mick). HOW ON EARTH can you not poke your eye out when you use one of those things on your face!? That will surely do the opposite of ‘relieving’ joints.

Anyway I have seriously recommended getting one to people – it’s SO simple but it feels so good on your head! I even put mine in the freezer – I’m a serious head massager user! £1.50 from a shop called ‘Bonkers’ in Loughborough town – or just get it from Poundland/Wilkos!

Another interesting object…

A friend who was helping me to look for ways I could protect my thumbs a bit more when I massage bought me this strange looking object…

Index Knobber collage

Here I am demonstrating how you can hold it. I know what you’re thinking.
I would like to host a name-the-object competition but I can’t even imagine what names there could be swimming around in people’s heads.

The nobble? The blue thing? The knuckle duster?



That is the name. It actually works really well! It can be used for trigger pointing when massaging instead of my putting all that force through my poor thumbs. I’ve used it on quite a few people and the feedback has been pretty good. I am incorporating it more into my massages now! 😀

Commonwealth Games Glasgow & last trip to see Len Funk!

I’ve not posted in a while…and I have LOTS to talk about!

I hope you’ve been enjoying the summer so far – I am loving having ZERO lectures, being able to train and massaging until my heart is content.

A week ago I visited Prof. Len Funk for the ‘final’ time…(I will explain those cheeky quotation marks later :D). It was great to see him again! Len said my shoulder looked the best he had seen it range-wise and that I looked strong. It’s true; my shoulder hasn’t had this amount of range since before my op – now a year and 2 months ago! The injection really did work the magic. A particular rehab exercise which has honestly been the best exercise yet to increase range is using a 2kg dumbbell to swing back in the javelin position. When I pull the dumbbell forward like a javelin, I allow my elbow and shoulder to relax so that the weight takes the arm backwards beyond its normal range. I do this for about 15 minutes a day after a set of weights/throwing/anything! Here’s a pic of me during jav throwing. By the way. Leggings.

Leggings though

Leggings though

Len also said the pain I still have is tightness pain and to give it time. In his words, even if I had sat with my arms by my sides, doing no rehab for the frozen shoulder, the shoulder would eventually ‘thaw’ out and my range will increase. Obviously, doing the rehab will increase the range more so than not. Frozen shoulder typically takes around 9 months to ‘thaw’ out but everyone is different.

Moving on to a different topic…the quotation marks! I said I would explain those things. Whilst I was talking to Len, the topic turned to sports massage and…physio! I was really inspired by Len and excited by the opportunities that a physio – as opposed to just being a sports masseuse – could have. I think I have my determined eyes set. Len VERY kindly even said I could have experience at his clinic!! Talking of physios – John Smith (my physio who saw me in the clinic straight after my op) also VERY kindly saw me that day to check up on my shoulder and also my knee which I have a bit of a niggle in. THANK YOU! Here’s our selfies XD

Len Funk & John Smith selfie

It’s been a week since the closing of the Commonwealth Games – it really did fly by. I was lucky enough to have bought tickets from a friend (thanks Sam!) to be able to watch one of the final days, including: men’s qualifying javelin, women’s high jump final, women’s discus, men’s triple jump & polevault, 1500m men, 800m women, 4x100m and 4x400m qualifying. BOLT too!

I loved being able to watch my friends competing, especially those in my training group. Here’s a few action shots of Jayne Nisbet, Benji Pearson, Jake Whiteman, Isobel Pooley, some of Glasgow city, cool little cars that retrieve the javelins and photos of me and my Dad! Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a shot of James Campbell who is a big inspiration to me, but nevertheless, congratulations to all the athletes!

Glasgow collage

The massive stadium at Hampden Park..

Me & Dad glasgow hampden park

glasgow hoodie 2014

Me Bolt

Good old Dad

Me & Dad glasgow

It was an amazing experience – the crowd were crazily loud! Thanks to my Dad who drove for absolutely ages and paid for all my Costa’s 😛

My paving designs will be on Loughborough Uni campus in late September

My paving designs will be on Loughborough Uni campus in late September

I put a lot of work and effort into designing these paving slabs which will be just outside of the Clyde Williams Building – I can’t wait to see them in the flesh! Work has already begun on the Martin hall area but they will be finished late September. Unfortunately a lot of the design has had to be changed but to have an idea that started as a thought; a few doodles on paper; a design – to finally become the real thing that will be on Loughborough campus for years to come is a great feeling. If I see anyone dropping litter on my area I will whollop them one 😛

Here is the link to the staff magazine that briefly describes and shows where my paving slab designs will be!