When I love to swim, and when I don’t love to swim.

I started to get back to the gym Sunday. This year, I’m starting my overall training in the pool.

Yesterday was the first time in over six months that I swam laps in a pool. I’ve been dealing with some painful issues in both shoulders that I don’t understand completely. But after trying to work through them unsuccessfully early last year, I finally decided to let them rest as much as possible and I hadn’t swum laps since early June. I waited, and waited, and waited, until both shoulders finally felt something like normal when I stretched them or threw a ball for the dog to retrieve.

So I swam laps for the first time in a long time Sunday, and I loved it. I actually missed doing that. This is the time when I absolutely love to swim. Even after all this time, I can still feel the power (even though it might not really be there anymore) as I put each hand in the water, draw it along side my body, then kick hard before dropping the next hand in. To flip, then kick off the wall hard and get as aerodynamic as possible under the water before I come up to the surface.

I feel good at this time, like I’m discovering my love of swimming all over again. In the next few weeks, as I get stronger and faster, I’ll feel even better. I’m looking forward to that.

The part that I won’t like will be a couple of months from now, when it starts to become routine. At that point, it becomes boring, and I start to dread stretching, getting to the gym early, changing, and jumping into a cold pool. Then doing a hundred or more laps.

That happens at some point nearly every year. It used to happen even when I competed back in high school. When I cross the line between doing something that’s fun and doing what I feel like I need to do.

This year, I’m going to try to avoid that feeling. I’m really swimming this year to train for a triathlon, and it won’t be a long swim at that. So I won’t have to train 4 or 5 times per week for months on end. Once I get my swim stamina back, I’ll probably only need to do laps once a week.

In addition to that, I’m going to try to find a place to swim, just swim, no laps, once it warms up in late spring. Or maybe take a vacation to a warm locale with a pool. In those moments, like in Florida last October, I swim because it’s fun and I love the water. At any rate, I’ll be looking for a way to break up the monotony… keep things fresh, if you know what I mean.

By the way, a day later, I can report no bad repercussions from either of my shoulders. And just before I climbed into the pool Sunday, my BG was 158 mg/dL. After swimming and a quick shower, I was at 84 mg/dL (don’t forget that I can’t wear my pump in the pool). That’s something to feel good about too.
 
 
 

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Comments

  • seejendance  On January 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I’m not a swimmer at all, but have been plagued with weird, painful shoulder issues as well. (And have had four different theories on what it could be.)

    It makes yoga and dance really interesting…

  • scully  On January 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Sounds like you are doing pretty great!
    swimming is one of those things that it seems like everybody i know is doing it. The monotony is something that sucks no matter what sport I think.
    Swimming is fun though because you can use toys and do different kinds of drills. Not that i’d know, I’m not much of a swimmer but that’s what other people seem to write about.

  • Scott E  On January 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Your commitment to swimming made me think: Wow!
    Then, your goal of a triathlon made me think: *WOW!*

    This is something you should be tremendously proud of!

  • Scott K. Johnson  On January 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I love this post, Stephen. Finding something that is fun and that you enjoy is so great – and that it’s GOOD for you? Bonus time, brother! :-)

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