Saturday, June 27, 2015


I once read that more than 80% of blogs are dormant, meaning that ambitious online writers set them up with overflowing enthusiasm only to abandon them shortly after, letting them rot away slowly in cyberspace.

In a bid to save this blog from heading down that dreary path, I present to you my first post on here since February 2014.

A lot has happened since then.

Although I promptly failed to make it to my own convocation ceremony, I graduated with honours from Carleton University's famed School of Journalism and Communication.

I  also got engaged to a wonderful young woman and completed a full year working as a multimedia reporter for a dynamic sports publishing company based in the UK.

Furthermore, I suffered the most serious sports-related injury of my career. Bizarrely, however, I was still able to continue playing golf completely unaffected and that, good friends, is what this blog post is on.

Although you're probably itching to read all about my personal life, this post is about how I was able to play the best golf of my life with a horribly torn rotator cuff.

Injuries are never fun, especially when you play as many sports as I do.

Ultimate is an awesome sport. Try it out. 
I picked up this bodily grievance while playing the wonderful game of ultimate frisbee. To save you the trouble of reading how I got hurt, watch this video. I basically did the exact same thing except a) I dropped the disc b) I tore the rotator cuff in my right shoulder in the process.

At the time I had no idea how bad my injury was. In fact, it hardly hurt so I played another game right after and even completed the winning catch to seal a memorable last minute win for my team.

The pain would arrive like a freight train the next morning.


I knew I was in trouble when I woke up the next day. I couldn't so much as lift my right arm without letting out a gasp of pain.

I was scheduled to play in the foursomes leg of a Ryder Cup-style tournament later that day with my community golf group at The Track, Meydan Golf.

"Not a chance," I grimaced to myself as I barely managed to slip my right arm through the sleeve of my t-shirt.

The day passed in agony.

If menial tasks like holding the steering wheel of my car and raising objects with my right hand were sources of excruciating agony, surely there was no chance of me swinging a golf club without passing out in pain.

But before I called up my captain, I gingerly picked up a lob wedge at work and rehearsed a gentle chip shot. No pain. I turned it into a half-swing. Still no pain. I proceeded to a full swing in slow motion and much to my amazement, I still felt no pain.

It was settled - I was going to play. A few more full-swings confirmed my decision.


I nailed my drive down the middle on the first hole and ended up parring what many call the most difficult opening hole in the Middle East. My partner and I would eventually triumph over our opponents 4&3 to a secure an invaluable point for our team.

Just so we're clear, I'm not a great golfer. I play off a 17 handicap and I'm lucky if I get one full round in a week. Oh, and I can't play out of a bunker to save my life. 

A few days later I played at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club where I won the longest drive competition on the monstrous par four seventh, splitting the fairway with a tee-shot that measured 268 yards.

The week after I carded a hardly believable two-over par gross 38 on the picturesque back nine at Al Badia Golf Club (although to be fair, it was the end of a corporate day at the course and all the tees were placed more generously forward than I had ever seen them before).

I wasn't only able to fully play the game with a rotten shoulder, but I was striking the ball sweeter than ever before.


Yep, my shoulder is pretty messed up. 
My failure to do a couple of simple exercises was enough for my doctor, Dr. George John, to diagnose my condition.

"Badly torn rotator cuff. Get MRI and then we see how best to treat."

Dr. John is a renowned sports surgeon who has worked with athletes from all over the world. He admitted this was the first ever frisbee-related injury he had treated. I could not have been more proud of myself.

I told him about my new found success on the golf course. Was I making my shoulder worse?

"If it's not hurting you then there's no reason to stop," he said with a small shrug.

"The muscles in the shoulder's rotator cuff allow the arm to make overhead and pulling motions. The golf swing is a lateral movement."


Unsurprisingly, the MRI revealed a severely torn rotator cuff (two of the four muscles were ripped to shreds).

In addition to being prescribed physiotherapy, I was given hyalgan injection shots to help regrow the muscles and boost circulation in my shoulder.

Just for the record, undertaking an MRI for the shoulder is an incredibly uncomfortable experience. It was like being stuck in a plastic coffin for 45 minutes while listening to an overloud symphony of diseased whales. Not fun.

So the moral of the story is this - if you're looking to lower that handicap, try tearing your rotator cuff. It did the trick for me, who's to say it won't work for you?

Your truly,

PS. Although I am not a medical professional or a sports physiotherapist, I speak from experience. 

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