Starting From Scratch … Again

3-Oct-14 – 17:55 by ToddG

As many of you know, eight weeks ago I had my right elbow completely replaced. The titanium elbow is a fairly new and uncommon procedure, with the mechanism itself costing about $20,000 (thank you, insurance company!). The surgery required a lot of moving and stretching of the nerves in my arm and I literally had to relearn how to move my elbow, wrist, and fingers.

2014-09-18 16.09.01

In terms of shooting, I’m basically starting from scratch. Drawing, pressing a trigger, even things as simple as getting a grip on the pistol feel completely unfamiliar right now. It’s like being a new shooter all over again.

So far I’ve simply been working with a Ring’s blue gun. I cannot get a good right hand grip yet nor can I fully extend my right arm… the latter probably a permanent deficit. At this point I’m not doing much more than practicing draws and such. Soon I’ll be getting into some dry fire. I’ve also got a P229 .22 kit on its way thanks to a good friend. My plan is to begin working with the .22 kit with the normal limitations before the month is over in what I like to call ballistic dry fire. Then hopefully I’ll move to regular 9mm for at least some of my live practice by the end of November.

Re-learning everything I’ve been doing for the past twenty years is definitely a challenge but it should be an interesting one if nothing else…

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 47 Responses to “Starting From Scratch … Again”

  2. Glad to have you back sir. You and your family are in my prayers.

    By John on Oct 3, 2014

  3. Good luck! And who knows, maybe you are going to find out that a titanium elbow makes you the bionic pistol instructor!

    By SteveJ on Oct 3, 2014

  4. That looks like some serious hardware. I look forward the the extensive field evaluations…. though sorry you had to come by it the way that you did.

    Perhaps you may also have an entirely new shooting stance under your name soon enough – just like Weaver’s shortened arm reach. Can’t wait to see how the performance benefits stack up.

    By abu fitna on Oct 3, 2014

  5. Titanium? You could have had Scandium for only $5,000 more.

    By Tony B on Oct 3, 2014

  6. John said it best (first post nails it)! Glad to have you back Todd.

    By Lomshek on Oct 4, 2014

  7. Great to have you back Todd! Looking forward to following your journey through this!

    By Dane on Oct 4, 2014

  8. Great to have you back. You was and will be in my prayers.

    By Jeff Arms on Oct 4, 2014

  9. Didn’t opt for the Adamantium, huh? Hey, it’s your elbow I guess.

    Seriously though, it’s good to have you back.

    By Nate Engel on Oct 4, 2014

  10. Great to have you back and posting. I think you have a really rare/awesome opportunity to train yourself all over again. I wonder what you’d do different in training yourself *now* after teaching for so long. It would make a neat journal for us all to read.

    Jersey thoughts and prayers sent your way.

    By BaiHu on Oct 4, 2014

  11. “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better…stronger…faster.”

    Welcome back!

    By Dave Luu on Oct 4, 2014

  12. Glad to see you typing again. You found a tough way to get material for your next posts… (:

    Rehab is always a pain in the arm but well worth it. I’m sure with a lot of hard work you will be shooting at full speed and accuracy in no time.

    Hang in there, sir.

    By justonegun on Oct 4, 2014

  13. I’ll be in Indy next week learning from one of your mentors. It’ll be hard shooting and learning from someone other than you, but you always encouraged us to reach out and try other trainers. It’s just that you set a high standard to live up to! It won’t be the same, but because you recommend him I know it’ll be beneficial. Hope to see you back here sometime in the future!

    I was always told the best way to achieve something is by setting a goal for yourself. I’ll make it easy for you and set it so you don’t have to think too much.

    Goal: sub 6 second F.A.S.T. drill by Christmas

    I’ve got a goody bag for you if it attained. If not, you owe me dinner at some place other than Chili’s.

    9mm or larger. No .22’s accepted

    By Chip on Oct 4, 2014

  14. Todd – glad to hear from you. Todd 2.0 is going to be faster…stronger… “and the best part? is that he’s learning” /end Krieger voice

    By Jim on Oct 4, 2014

  15. Forgive me if this it too personal or anything but what the heck happened?! I’ve been checking the site for months and months and figured something bad happened so I am very glad to see you’re back. Hope you have a speedy recovery!

    By James on Oct 4, 2014

  16. We are all very glad to see you back. There look to be many difficulties with a replacement elbow. You are a great trainer and I am sure you will have earned your F.A.S.T. coin again shortly. Perhaps a special Titanium one?
    Good luck and God’s Speed.

    By Kevin on Oct 4, 2014

  17. I’ve. been following you since your M&P endurance test (2007?) and it’s good to see you back. I hope your health issues are now a thing of the past.

    By The Fish on Oct 4, 2014

  18. Dear Todd,

    Get well soon, you have no idea how much you were missed here.

    By Azhar on Oct 5, 2014

  19. Wow, Todd!

    My continued prayers, brother. I hope and pray to see you back in your peak form.

    Keep the faith and perseverance.

    By Kevin Reed on Oct 5, 2014

  20. James: Here’s the short story:

    By JV on Oct 5, 2014

  21. Glad to see another pistol-training post, Todd. Hope you’re doing well. I hope you have a full, and speedy recovery.

    By Magic_Salad0892 on Oct 6, 2014

  22. I was wondering what happened. Never saw the original story and would check the website every few weeks looking for an update. Started to think the worst had happened.

    It will be interesting to see you re-learning. Good luck and prayers sent your way.

    By Dan on Oct 6, 2014

  23. Good to hear you are making progress and glad to have you back.

    Hope all goes well in rehab.

    By threedogdad on Oct 6, 2014

  24. Welcome back Todd. Keep the faith and be patient, all your skills will return.

    By Gerard on Oct 6, 2014

  25. Welcome back.

    I’ve heard that right-handers who learn to shoot left-handed tend to shoot better that way because their bad habits don’t cross over, but they can still apply their knowledge and diagnostic abilities to a virgin hand. (Cue the “virgin hand” jokes.) I’ll be curious to see how it plays out for you.

    Okie John

    By Okie John on Oct 6, 2014

  26. Darn glad to see you back!!

    By DGP on Oct 6, 2014

  27. great to see you back on here!

    By Vince on Oct 6, 2014

  28. Thanks for the 411 JV. Holy crap I figured some idiot maybe shot you in the elbow… didn’t expect this. Glad you’re back though!

    Idk if it will help but my brother got in a very bad motorcycle wreck a few years ago and shattered every bit of bone on his right side from his knee to his neck. It took a year of hard work but he managed to get back about %100. He is out skateboarding and everything now.

    The pain meds are what gave him the hardest time. Getting off them is tough. Surprisingly, he said that video games helped the most. It has something to do with sending lots of quick nerve signals repeatedly… it helps make the connections more permanent.

    With good friends and a loving family its amazing what you can get through.

    By James on Oct 6, 2014

  29. Good to hear you are up and running.
    Should be back to speed in no time!

    By Mark Perez on Oct 6, 2014

  30. Todd,

    You don’t know me. We’ve never met. But I’ve followed your website.

    I live in Northern Virgina and work in Wash, DC. If you need help getting back into it let me know.


    By DCA on Oct 6, 2014

  31. Dude, awesome to see that you’ve already got a plan to get back to shooting. Not being able to fully extend you elbow should give the perfect opportunity to try the elbows flexed, hands “rolling” towards each other grip/stance. Also, I assume that an upside of your terminator elbow is that you don’t need an elbow brace anymore. 😉

    By joshs on Oct 7, 2014

  32. Glad to see you are back and getting that terminator arm in shape. I’m sure re-learning everything is frustrating but I’ll bet you will learn a lot and be better for it in the end. My prayers are with you an your family.

    By Irelander on Oct 7, 2014

  33. Get well soon.
    ‘had the pleasure of meeting your family.
    All the best of fortune.

    By Shawn Bartley on Oct 7, 2014

  34. Good to see you and best wishes from the PacificNW.

    By NWGlocker on Oct 8, 2014

  35. Good to have you back. As a medical professional I can day that youre comeback is all about your attitude and you have always had that positive never say die feel to your shooting and your posts ever since I started following you. Keep up the good work. You are in such a unique position. A professional who has literally hit the reset button on their body. You can now relate to many more students who have been in MVAs or other tough scenarios or Veterans who have been wounded. Looking forward to the updates and the progress.

    Shoot straight.

    By Greg P. on Oct 8, 2014

  36. Welcome back, best wishes.

    By Jonathan on Oct 8, 2014

  37. Good to see you writing again. You perseverance is inspiring!

    By DocGKR on Oct 9, 2014

  38. Good to read you again.

    This could actually lead to some really interesting training journals — learning the mechanics of shooting all over again, but with all of the knowledge of years of experience in terms of the right way to do it. Might give some new perspective on how to practice yourself up more efficiently – most people just get to retrospect on what they wish they’d done as a novice instead of getting to experience it a second time.

    By ford.304 on Oct 9, 2014

  39. Did you make sure they didn’t use any MIM parts?

    By David on Oct 9, 2014

  40. I am glad to see you posting again. You website is a wealth of knowledge. I have enjoyed it very much. I wish you a speedy recovery.

    By Chris B on Oct 10, 2014

  41. Todd! Finally your back. So glad to see it. Ive probably been checking in every day awaiting your return. You are a unique perspective on our culture an you were missed.

    Now that life has thrown you this curve ball it will add yet another wrinkle to your offerings here on the site. Good luck! I wish you a speedy recovery. As much as I was dying to hear about the 229 I’ll look forward to hearing how you adapt to your current situation. Take care.

    -Brian S

    By Brian S on Oct 11, 2014

  42. It is all said above – glad to have you back!!!

    By st on Oct 11, 2014

  43. Good to see another post here, Todd! Hope your recovery keeps going at a good pace!

    “Ballistic dry fire”. That’s a good one!

    By MichaelD on Oct 16, 2014

  44. It would appear you have the opportunity to document the advance from a near zero skill level to a well developed shooter in terms of building muscle memory. You already have the knowledge and experience.
    I’m saddened at your loss, but it brings an interesting opportunity nonetheless.

    By RM on Oct 19, 2014

  45. Well in Greece when an individual leaves the hospital we wish him to be iron (meaning not to brake, get ill, never again). It seems that you are far along from that point (titanium…).
    Glad to hear you are good Todd. I certainly missed you and your writings.

    By Tasos Panagiotopoulos on Oct 19, 2014

  46. Todd Lives!

    Hope you have a successful recovery.

    By Mitchell, Esq. on Oct 26, 2014

  47. El Maestro is Back!!! Wish you a Full on Recovery and a Quick return to the Range. Bendiciones and Best Regards!!!

    By svega on Oct 26, 2014

  48. Hey Brother, it’s Great to have you back. I had feared the worst, but this is nothing but a bump in the road. Hell by this time next you will be back to your old self kicking ass and out shooting us.
    I’ll keep you in my prayers!!!!

    Stay Safe!!!


    By Dave on Oct 28, 2014

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