Hello, I am Shane Delameter, a physical therapist assistant, a college failure, a painful right shoulder, and finicky right knee. These are some of the terms I have used to identify and describe myself.
I have carried and continued to carry the weight and identity of a college failure. During the first semester of college, I ultimately did not pass Biology and over winter break I was respectfully asked to pack my things and remove myself from that institution. This left great doubt within me, fear, feelings of inadequacy, as well as many other feelings/emotions that are not positive in nature. The fault placed directly on myself, and if needed, I would be glad to discuss further privately.
As for my physical ailments, I had an ACL surgery 12 years ago, sutures just below my knee-cap due to blunt force trauma, and most recently a strain that has resulted in lingering issues. At times, my knee will “lock up” preventing me from fully straightening and with significant discomfort associated. This will cause limitation to my work out and active lifestyle, and discomfort may persist the rest of the day depending on when a provocative moment will strike. This causes great frustration, due to the fact I just want to move and be able to do the things I want, when I want to do them.
As for my shoulder, I had been practicing throwing forehand frisbees for disc golf. I was throwing shot after shot, and then when I tried to throw just a little harder, I felt a strain in the front of my shoulder which has not gone away for almost a year. Currently periods of exacerbation and improvement plague me. At times this limits my ability for working out, working with weight overhead, and handstand practice; which has become my new passion.
These items listed above plague me with a negative mindset and ill feelings of little to no improvement. If I allow myself to feel inadequate, this would not allow me to be a particularly good clinician, and EMT. If I let my knee and shoulder control me, I would no longer do the activities that I love and are a part of who I really am. I have been working on my mindset for some time now. As for college I have two Associates currently. I had to retake the biology course that got the best of me earlier and I ended up passing with flying colors. Although negative thoughts regarding my ability to return to school still continue, however, I do not let these feelings and mindset affect the responsibility and conform my identity in everyday living. I refuse to let the aches and discomforts stop me from performing the activities I enjoy. If my knee acts up, I know that when I go to sleep my knee will feel fine in the morning.
I respect and understand my pain. I also look at these feelings, aches, and pains as reminders of the experience associated. The scars on my knee remind me of the days playing competitive sports, the finicky knee brings memories of playing disc golf, golf or the goals and boundaries achieved participating in parkour. As for my shoulder I think of how far I have come in the handstand journey and I am proud of that.
I am trying to encourage everyone to not let their ailments be their identity, as I speak from experience. The brain is a power tool, “I think therefore I am ,” instead of identifying as the problem, try identifying with the experience. It is those experience’s that give us identity, feeling of happiness, joy and/ or accomplishment.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Shane M. Delameter. JUS. TA. PTA