A week by week approach to overcoming injury - WEEKS 5-8

A week by week approach to overcoming injury - WEEKS 5-8

I've held off in posting weekly for weeks 5-8 so that you, at week 5 can have a positive outlook on what the future looks like. My personal progress is at the but is honestly less important than the message here...


If you have experienced a whirlwind of emotions since surgery...you and I have something in common. Nothing about this has been easy. I've had days where staying in bed sounded much more appealing than trying to be active with constant pain. Days that I was completely incapable of performing simple hygiene routines such as washing my hair. Where I simply said, f this, poor me...blah blah blah. It took multiple periods of reflection. What I mean by reflection is spending a lengthy period of time in silence with no distractions. Doing this allowed me to recognize the presence of negativity and then shut down whatever nonsense psychobabble that was accumulating in my mind...

Why is this important? because...EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I came to the same conclusion. NONE of the negative chatter was healing me and getting me to where I wanted to be. NONE OF IT. We are human. We come fully equipped with emotions that can be triggered by something such as this. Let those emotions be present, then kick them to the curb and get back to be the awesome you that you are. We have the ability to create positive momentum. We just have to choose it. 

Right from the start, you became ok with not being ok. You've allowed vulnerability to be a part of your life and accepted love from those around you to support your recovery. You've set some short term and long term goals for yourself. (If you have yet to do this, do it now) You've learned a little from your therapist and probably cried a little to those who are close to you. BUT...

You've taken the steps to rebuild. Celebrate it. 

PERSPECTIVE: Can you agree that progressively, things have gotten easier? This will continue. As for me...

Over the past few weeks, I have seen massive improvements in both my physical capabilities and my long term outlook.

WEEK 5- I was allowed to spend majority of my time without a sling on. It was a breathe of fresh air, no longer being confined to limited movement. It was also challenging in that I forgot that I wasn't fully healed and would move faster than I should have. This brought me back to feeling weaker than I was in the past. I'd just tell my self to "KNOCK IT OFF, Sarah...you're healing and you're stronger than yesterday." 

WEEK 6- Things are getting exciting! PT exercises included small weights, body weight exercises and testing the end range in mobility. 2lb dumbells never felt so good!  

WEEK 7- BOOM! Keep celebrating those small successes! There has been a 20 degree increase in both shoulder flexion and scaption! annnnnd some of my normal activities, though less intense are now part of my daily routine again. 

WEEK 8- Back in week 3, I set my short term and long term goals. My first fitness goal, the Wanderlust 5K, yoga and meditation triathlon is approaching quickly! I am stoked to know that because of the work I've put in over the past 8 weeks, I will be participating in the event! HUGE!

Thank you for allowing me to share this past 8 weeks with you. If you know someone who is or plans to go through recovery, please share this with them. My hope is that they can take away at least one piece of this and that it helps get them back to their norm as quickly as possible.

Have a dream?

Dig Deep. Find YOUR Fire & GET. IT. DONE


Sarah Pozdol




A week by week approach to overcoming injury-WEEK 4

A week by week approach to overcoming injury-WEEK 4

Time is FLYING, huh?!

It didn't seem like it was going to a few weeks ago. At least I know that was the case for me. I felt like I went face first into a wall and the world stopped. GOOD NEWS...I didn't...the world is still spinning as it does and time continues to fly.  :)

Physical therapy has now hit phase 2. Current range of motion is being challenged and things are starting to move. I was given the go ahead to incorporate resistance bands into my homework and added internal and external rotation back into the mix. (Prior to surgery, external rotation was the motion that caused my humeral head to jump off track.)

HOW ARE YOU FEELING? Hopefully you've been able to stay vulnerable to help, pull the reigns a bit and keep a positive outlook on this recovery being a long process. Remember week one? You're far stronger now than you were then. We have all recognized that life with injury is not the same as life without injury and THAT'S OK, right? 

Progress is happening and it's a good time to make sure you're supporting that progress...

1. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: fuel your recovery.

What can we do to make sure we are providing the best support system from the inside out? 

I reached out to colleague of mine at the Burr Ridge, Illinois LifeTime Fitness to get some advice on my nutrition. I asked her what I can be incorporating into my diet that will support me during recovery and as I get back into an exercise program. (I all ready eat pretty clean...minus the occasional red velvet cupcake) She had these suggestions...

  • Get rid of vegetable oil's!
  • Add high-quality fats particularly omega 3s; grass fed butter, coconut oil/MCT oil.
  • Collagen powder and/or bone broth + Vit C for connective tissue repair.
  • Adaptagenic herbs: Ashwaganda and Rhodiola for cortisol/stress support and balance.
  • Tumeric/Curcumin for inflammation and brain support.
  • High quality proteins/amino's for building blocks and repair.

NOTE: I am not a nutritionist, or a dietitian and in no way am telling you what to do. I do however believe that knowledge is power...and if there is something out there that is going to get me back to where I was before then it's absolutely worth taking a look at...and if it can help me...then it might be able to help you...and if that happen's...then we are golden... so take what you will of the above information. :) 

2.  Look at physical therapy is an incredible OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN...

When is the last time you were able to spend this much time around someone (AKA your physical therapist) who has educated themselves in what you are experiencing right now? 

LEARN from them! Soak it in and then put it to use!

Training the body works in phases. First is promoting motor recruitment and stabilization. Once that is established and all of the muscle fibers and connective tissues have joined in on the party (nerdy, I know) then we move into exercises that promote adaptation and strength gains while still focusing on increasing an idealistic range of motion at the particular joint. It then progresses to performance and power if that's a desire.

We are facing the same type of progression in physical therapy. Your PT has you creating movement first, right? Limiting what you can do regarding a larger range of motion or working with any type of weight bearing circumstance? It's wonderful! We get to build a solid foundation, right!? Phase two, we have moved into resistance work to further recruit fibers/connective tissues. In phase 3 , I expect that we will be incorporating strength building exercises into our program.

The point it...right now, you have the opportunity to build a better understanding of the way your body (with injury or not) should progress. Ask questions, take notes and learn how to apply this outside of therapy.

Needs some ideas for creating stabilization? Yoga, Pilates, swimming or any other activities promoting motor recruitment (balance work, isometric holds) are always great options!

That's all I've got! Until next week... ONE MONTH DOWN

Wishing you the best with your recovery! Sarah <3



A week by week approach to overcoming injury-WEEK 3

A week by week approach to overcoming injury-WEEK 3


Physical therapy is underway now, twice a week. I am “on track.” Small movements are becoming normal again and the talk of trying to increase my end range of motion within the next few weeks has been building hopes that I’ll be back in no time.

week 3.jpg

Which brings me to this weeks 2 points of focus...

1. Pulls the reigns and stick to the plan.

It’s ridiculously hard. I don’t like the thought of it and I’m sure you are or will feel the same way.  We would LOVE for our bodies to heal and to be able to move the way we were just a few months ago.

There are days in which I physically feel capable to training the way I have in the past. The truth is though, my shoulder just isn’t ready. The focus right now is on recruiting connective tissues and stabilizing the foundation. This must happen before the transition into building strength. It will happen, but for now ...trust the process, calm the monkey mind and PULL THE REIGNS.

2. Set some milestone goals to help with the above☝️

Remember the journal mentioned in week 2? If you have yet to grab one, l encourage doing so. Let’s create a few goals to help stay focused and on track with the recovery. Ask your doctor or PT for some ideas on when certain activities are appropriate through your recovery and jot down some subjects that you may want to learn more about. These things can help to calm your mind when you start wanting to move to quickly.

I was given a 8 month timeline to FULLY recover. My milestones are to celebrate my physical advancement as well as further my knowledge.

  • April 5- I’ll be filming with Mobility WOD in San Francisco
  • May 12th - will be my first return to  5k/yoga/meditation triathlon in Chicago www.wanderlustchicago.com
  • June 21 - I’ll be attending a Mobility WOD coaching workshop (highly recommend) www.mobilitywod.com
  • July and August are TBD
  • September - Seattle Spartan Race (coming back baby!)

There we go, three weeks down.

Until next week...keep it positive. It's time to start working towards those goals. 



A week by week approach to overcoming injury - WEEK 2

A week by week approach to overcoming injury - WEEK 2

Update on my recovery: The swelling in my shoulder has gone down and the stiches have been removed. My energy levels have returned since ceasing all use of pain medications last week. I am feeling stronger everyday, though I am without full feeling in my hand and forearm due to what doctors are describing as a normal outcome of the nerve block received pre-op. I am told that this feeling should dissipate over time as my nerves "wake up." Range of motion...I still have yet to put myself into shoulder flexion or any abduction or external rotation. First day of physical therapy is later today (Wednesday, March 14th)

WEEK 1 was all about acceptance and staying vulnerable. We have established and accepted that things are in fact not the same as they used to be and its going to take a while to get them there. Keep staying vulnerable to those around you who are offering love and support.

WEEK 2 - Let's keep the forward momentum...

1. Celebrate the small successes. Recovery is a rebuild process and we should be focused on progress, not perfection. The day after surgery, I was not capable of holding the foam clown nose stress ball in my hand. One day later, I could hold it in my hand and slowly but surely I have been able to squeeze it. In addition to that, I can actually tie my shoes on my own now and though its a rough looking side ponytail, I am able to manipulate a hair tie enough to get it out of my face.

Progress, not perfection.

It's those little steps in healing that feel good. If you have not yes done so, I highly recommend journaling what is going on for you throughout your recovery so that you can track your progress moving forward.

2. Give yourself permission to take extra time to get around. If it used to take you 30 minutes to get ready to go somewhere, expect it to take an hour...If your grocery store trip was a quick in and out...for the next couple of weeks can take a little bit longer. Plan for it, prioritize what HAS to be taken care of and give yourself permission to do this so that you can relax instead of feeling rushed and overwhelmed. Stress will not aid in proper recovery.

That's it, WEEK 2, check. Until next week... Relax, stay positive and cheers to recovery. 

Note from the future: I am coming back to say that the above is true. STAY POSITIVE. I am in through week 4 and though it is a slow process... you will absolutely feel more and more like the old you. JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD.


A week by week approach to overcoming injury - WEEK 1

A week by week approach to overcoming injury - WEEK 1

Set backs are inevitable and come in countless forms. One that many of us are familiar with is physical injury. They take us out of our element and force us to adapt. They also knock us back and make us feel less capable of things that in the past seemed simple.

My name is Sarah Pozdol. I am a mother, coach, author and athlete who until mid-February, had full use of my body. On February 27th, 2018 I had surgery to repair the labrum of my left shoulder...

After returning home it didn't take long to realize that I had been taking simple things for granted. Simple things such as putting my hair up in a ponytail and putting on my shoes.

My decision to blog about this recovery is in hopes that others in my position can look at this as an opportunity to slow down, reflect and rebuild. So here we go... 2 simple things, every week that can help to get us through recovery with a positive outlook...  

1. Be OK with NOT BEING OK.

If you want to waste time, nerves and energy, start complaining about everything you can no longer do. Feel bad for yourself. Take extra time to complain to everyone who will listen. Those thoughts crept into my head within the first 24 hours of recovery and it sucked. The point of getting the surgery wasn't to have life suck though. It was to fix a problem.

That's when I had to throw away the poor me card. Let's instead reflect and not on where we are but where we want to be. 


Reality is reality. Both you and I are NOT OK right now. Everything is different. We will have to adapt the way we look at things and approach tasks. The quicker we realize this, the faster we  will transform negative energy into positive momentum. 

2. Be more VULNERABLE than you've ever been.

If you haven't noticed the number of people in your life that are here to love and support you, open your eyes...because they are here right now if you will let yourself see them. "I've got this!...yeah...sure you do. I don't. Heck, my two children tag teamed making bunny ears with my shoe laces this morning. Yesterday my co-worker tied my hair up for me and over this past weekend for the first time, I allowed myself to be cared for 100% (Thank you, Tommy. My love, you are an incredible human being.)

ACCEPT LOVE. It is going to be a huge during recovery.

Until next week...one day at a time...YOU'VE GOT THIS

Week 1