Dale is Again Back

by Dale Friesz

Dale Friesz in action at Art's Birthday Bash performing a 122 pound Ring Fingers Deadlift for a new USAWA Record.

After some 15 months away from the platform, I was finally able to try my hand at Art’s Birthday Meet, October 16th, 2011.  This is the longest period I have gone without training or competitive lifting in the last 31 years.  What I find amusing is I lifted at Art’s with very limited training in the 5 weeks preceding the meet.  I was able to do three singles per workout 2-3 times per week on the two hand finger lifts.  The reason for the finger lifts was that they have been a consistant part of my training since 2005.  During the 15 months after losing my leg I was unable to stand as the stump would not heal and I have 2 injured shoulders thus no bench work.

Since 2000, I have normally had one or more fairly major medical issues each year.  These include joint replacements (hip and shoulder), aorta reconstruction, triple heart by pass, three heart attacks, stent implants in the bypass, two congestive heart failures, implanting of a defibrillator/pace maker, two gastric bleeds, several episodes of MRSA, right leg vein reconstruction and compression surgery, eight vein transplants to establish blood flow in my left leg, the loss of two toes, and then finally the loss of my left leg.  After the loss of the left leg there have been some seven additional surgeries on the left stump so that it would heal.  It is now about 95%.  I have no word on when I will be fitted with a permanent prosthesis.

I am extremely fortunate to have the Doctor I do.  He understands my compulsion to lift weights.  He has also said that the weights are the reason I am still breathing.  Without my wife, my care giver, I would not have made it. 

Al Myers has asked how do you train when you have all this down time?  Prior to the last 15 months I always returned to the all-round basics plus the finger lifts using 3 to 4 sets of one rep on each exercise.  As limited as I now am I am trying to figure out balance on next years national lifts and hope for a prosthesis with ankle flexibility.  I still do the finger lifts!!