T Nation

My First Highland Games


I attended my first Highland Games today. The first event was a 7lb over shoulder throw. Think of it as tossing a grenade for distance. I warmed up with the other guys a few times, and then, since I was the new guy, they had me go first.

As I was new to this and I knew it was going to be a long day, I figured I'd throw easy. I thought of something Dan John had said--See how easy you can throw instead of hard you can throw... or something to that effect.

On my first throw, in my first competition mind you, I felt and heard something tear in the bottom of my elbow. Long story short--the diagnosis is that I completely tore the biceps tendon off my forearm. Right now my right biceps is sitting up by my shoulder. I have flexion and extension, but not much strength.

Punch line is that about two months ago I decided to take a job that paid me half as much, but allowed me to work in the public interest, thus enriching my life... or at least that was the thought. Part of the deal was that I was going to go without insurance for 6 months. First time in my life I don't have insurance. Now I have to search for a doctor and hospital that are willing to put on a very extended payment plan.

Ain't life grand?


I've heard that if you flex at the elbow while throwing, that this can happen. When you recover, and start practicing, try keeping your arm straight. The weight will move with speed and technique, your arm will guide it to it's destination.

Since I'm new to the sport as well, this is something that I have had to try and overcome.... the harder I throw the worse I throw, so learning to relax has been an inportant part of my training.

Quick recovery, and I hope that this does not discourage you.


Damn! That hurt just reading about it. Here's a wish or two on a speedy recovery.


I have NEVER heard of that event before...I hope things get better. Really. I will keep you and yours in my prayers...


Technically they were Hibernian Games. That is, Irish games. The Highland Games were Saturday. The guy who put it together said that many of the Irish events fell out of favor and haven't really been contested since the early 1900's. Maybe now we know why...


I seem to be in a no-man's zone for health care. I don't qualify for services for the indigent since I have a job, and no one will talk to me otherwise because I don't have insurance. I recently cashed in half my 401k to buy a house with, and so I have some money that I can use, but that isn't good enough. Weird that in the US of A you can't pay for your own medical procedures.

Also, it is very humbling to discover how a simple thing like not being able to use an arm much can throw your everyday life out of whack.

My father had a stroke a couple months ago. Paralyzed his right side. Now that I've had a little taste of what he's going through, it makes it that much more difficult to imagine how he's coping.