Gripping stuff

At the beginning of this week I was feeling pretty down about a lot of things, one of which is the stupid grip in my right hand. I’m determined to keep doing my grip exercises this time, but I’m also anxious because it might not make a difference, and I do not want to have to deal with people telling me that if I only tried harder I’d get it sorted etc.

You see, I’ve always had issues with my right hand (I’m left-handed). At Brownies, I was never able to make the Brownie salute (three middle fingers aloft, little finger held with thumb, like this) and would have to force my little finger under my thumb with my left hand, hiding it all behind my back because it made Brown Owl cross that I couldn’t do the salute. Even now, I can’t do it – and my middle fingers don’t straighten, so it’s more like the “Brownie Claw” on me.

I have the strength to hold a mug in my right hand, but not the manual dexterity to pick one up by the handle – I have to pick things like crockery up with my left hand & pass them to my right.

When I was in school I had physio on my right hand because I can’t move the fingers individually, therefore I couldn’t touch type. We had to touch type because I went to the kind of “naice” school where young ladies learned to type (this was before computer science/IT lessons began, we were using WordPerfect to develop “office skills”). I still flunked all my touch typing classes – the physio did bugger all.

When I was doing the Strongwoman Day a few months ago, I messed up on the medley because I didn’t have the manual dexterity to pick up a 10kg plate with my right hand (once I’d picked it up with my left, passed it to the right & held it, I was OK).

So yeah, my right hand is fucked. I can’t move the fingers of it individually and, as you know, my grip is really poor. In all honesty, I’m amazed I can actually deadlift 115kg with it.

I get upset & frustrated when people who haven’t lived in my body for the last 37 years tell me that “if only” I do plate pinches/bar holds/dumbbell holds/use my HandXBand etc, then my grip will be fine. I don’t have the energy or inclination to deal with them if I fail, and they chide me for “not trying hard enough”. I try really fucking hard, you know? But sometimes we have limitations (despite what the #Fitspo posters say) and sometimes a person’s lived experience in their own body trumps a bystander’s opinion of what they “ought” to be able to do.

Edit: Just realised it’s International Left-handers Day. How sinister!

Monday: squats at BGWLC

  • Squats: worked up to 3 sets of 4 @ 80kg
  • Sumo deadlifts off 2 mats: worked up to 3 sets of 5 @ 90kg
  • Hyperextensions: 3 sets of 10
  • Cable crunch: 10 with 25kg; 2 sets of 10 with 30kg
  • Plate pinches: 12.5kg plate, 3 sets of 15secs

Tuesday: Pilates

This session was hardcore. I know some people regard Pilates as recovery/”not really working out” but flippin’ heck, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish a few times. Lots of squats, lots of arms-over-the-head stuff (which makes my Carpal Tunnel unhappy), much sweat, very ouch.

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4 thoughts on “Gripping stuff

  1. Jennifer (@winetoweights)

    Very interesting!
    That’s awesome that you are able to lift like you despite having a bum right hand.. I had to try the brownie pledge hand with my left hand to see if I had any issues.. I’m good. 😉

    It’s good to acknowledge that it may be something beyond your control; but can’t hurt to keep working at it, right? It is is what it is, but you’re still a great lifter in my eyes! 🙂

    1. lozette Post author

      I will definitely keep doing my grip training; I just… am getting a bit tired of other people denying peoples’ actual experiences & declaring that “If you only *try*, you can do XYZ”. So I’m sort of pre-emptively saying this so I don’t have to chew anyone out later if they tell me I didn’t try hard enough!

  2. Vix

    Until anyone has lived in your body they can’t comment!

    I’m even more amazed at how far you’ve come knowing your grip is even weaker than my own ‘porridge claw’ (it honestly feels like my hands are made of porridge).

    If you want to work on something and see your own improvement then good for you, but it’s a really personal growth so frankly anyone else should butt out..

    I might be a tad sensitive on this but basically – Yay you!

    1. lozette Post author

      I’ve definitely been getting my knickers in a twist recently about people denying other peoples’ actual experiences. I’m not sure why!! I annoys the crap out of me, though.

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