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  • Writer's pictureRene Caruso

And POOF! Just like that I have a new shoulder.

Joint replacement number three, dang, I’m almost bionic!

No, I don’t have some weird disease or health issue causing my joints to fall apart.


Back when I started bodybuilding “beast mode” was the mantra, always pushing 110% regardless of pain or discomfort.  Waist belts, elbow, wrist and knee wraps – these were part of the weightlifter “uniform.”

I loved it. Loved pushing weight, shaping muscle, molding my body, pushing my limits, feeling spent and stronger at the same time. Euphoria.

One day at Gold’s Gym in Seattle, I was doing reps on the hack squat machine. Under weight, I pushed up from the bottom. For some dumb reason I’ll never know, at that moment I moved my right foot forward slightly and I felt a sharp pain in my pelvis. Turns out I had tweaked my SI (Sacroiliac) joint. A couple chiropractor visits later, and I was back in business…or so I thought. 


Leg day was a problem. I’d work out, tweak the joint, stop at the chiro, then home to ice. But it was only once a week, so I didn’t think it was an issue.  But…because I had to back off the heavy weights, I decided to increase my running from one day a week to three.  And then I discovered obstacle course racing. I was hooked.


That increased my trips to the chiro which ultimately led to hypermobility in the SI joint which led to more instability and pain.


Looking back on it, that was the beginning of a cycle that would lead to the hip joint issues and eventual replacements I’d need.


Training methods have progressed significantly, and we have much better understanding now of functional movement, tendon and ligament support and development, cross-training, etc. (I wish I’d have known about Dr. Kelly Starrett when I started out).


But that’s now. I can’t change the past. I was, and still am, wired to do hard things (article The Importance of Doing Hard Things ) I‘ve just got to find new hard things to do that build up and don’t tear down.


So why am I telling you all this?


· To let you know I’m ok and hopefully done with joint replacements.  

· Do things that challenge you, scare you, make you feel alive and build a stronger awareness of

your capabilities and self-concept. Try not to damage yourself In the process  ;-)

· There’s good pain and there’s bad pain – yes, I’m expanding the conversation to include a

broader analogy about life.  Good pain helps us grow.  Bad pain stunts our growth.

· It’s impossible to give 110% all the time, but demanding your greatest effort is what it takes to

live an audacious life filled with accomplishments mediocre people consider beyond their


· I don’t want to be mediocre.

· I don’t want you to be mediocre either.




Remember: “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” –  Rikki Rogers


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