View Full Version : Back in the saddle?!

Paul Smith
September 20th, 2005, 02:20 PM
So I finally managed to drag my butt out of bed, have Laura "hose" me off and reapply bandages at which point I "barked" at her for ripping out some hair........so she finally took off for a few hours of working out (on a punching bag no doubt) and now I start over!

Probably sounds familar to a few of you........just getting home from shoulder surgery............this time a repeat of the repair to my left side four years ago now on the right. I tired for 18 months to deal with it in every possible way......but when they cut off any further cortisone injections last April it was time to make plans.

In my case it was an arthritic conditon leaving a bone spur in the a/c joing which was causing a ton of impingement. Apparently when the doc got inside yesterday morning the dmamage was worse then expected.....in fact there was missing cartilage (plan dissolved). Apparently my hyper mobile shoulders make things worse......the amount of damage required 1/4" of the clacicle to be reomved and a fair amount of bone shaved down.

So......the countdown begins!! Back for next May is the goal, starting with getting on a spin bike tomorrow, PT 3x a week starting thursday, kick only workouts for a few months in mid october, then chsing evil-goodsmith around the pool starting 1/1 (he doesn't know I got a membership t his club yet)!

So I passed my first hurdle, left hand typing and mouse use....getty-up!

Dennis Tesch
September 20th, 2005, 03:31 PM
You are braver than me, taking the plunge under the knife. I hope your recovery goes well. To a fast recovery and future swimming success.


September 20th, 2005, 03:58 PM
I know u said you had this before. So u know the come back trail is not an easy one. I have had 2 shoulder surgeries. R side was the arthroplasty & left was after the R cuz it got jealous of all the attention the R one got during recoop time. That was arthoscopic.
They also shaved both my acrominums for impingement. Funny thing about it was that the R, after it finally healed correctly, which took quite a while and alot of ice cubes later, is my best shoulder. I am now swimming all strokes with back & fly my best. Good luck & keep that ice handy. It really was a life saver but I imagine u are well aware.

September 20th, 2005, 04:24 PM
Oh, Ouch!

Sounds like the surgery went well so far? :)

I hope you recover fast!!!!

Rich Abrahams
September 20th, 2005, 05:11 PM
I talked with Laura this morning. You were too groggy to get on the phone (according to her). Sounds like they found more than anticipated but got everything done. Your attitude is perfect for your recovery.

I'm not sure she mentioned this, but I too will be going under the knife this Thurs. Like an idiot, I was showing off in the weight room just two weeks before long course and partially dislocated my left shoulder (subluxation). After surviving nationals I hoped things would heal. No such luck. The MRI showed a torn labrum and partially detatched biceps tendon among several other minor things like a bone spur and various other wear and tear issues. I'm opting to just have the biceps tendon released instead of reattached (which I did on my right shoulder 4 years ago) as it cuts the rehab time in half and - I'm assured - won't affect my swimming. All in all, I be able to swim in 8-10 weeks. Time to work on the kick.

We can keep eachother updated on recovery.

Good luck,


September 20th, 2005, 05:45 PM
Evil One,

This morning I told your wife to rip off the dressing and yell my name out loud. I'm glad to see she followed at least half of my instructions. Wait until tonight. I have instructed her to roll over on top of your bad shoulder. In addition, I have informed her to leave notes by your bedside with my name on them throughout your recovery.

This kind of constant aggrevation and pain associated with my name will help your recovery.

Thank me later,

The Good Smith

Peter Cruise
September 20th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Rich? Surviving nationals? The rest of us should survive so well!
Paul- copious amounts of beer are called for- real Canadian stuff, and you'll be better in a jiffy.

Jeff Commings
September 20th, 2005, 05:51 PM
I guess that's like Michael Phelps putting Ian Crocker's picture on his wall.

Paul, I heard whispers about the surgery. Glad to hear you're coming out of it well. Nationals isn't nationals to me without you breaking every record in sight and commenting on my backstroke kick.

Rich, good luck with your surgery, too.

I certainly hope my luck with swimming injuries (zero in my 27 years) continues. My biggest fear -- after snakes -- is going under the knife. This is why I can never make it through an entire episode of "ER." I make it through a whole hour of "House," but Hugh Laurie helps with that!

Paul Smith
September 20th, 2005, 05:57 PM
It's getting ugly around here......the block has now worn off completely and Laura tossed a bottle of pain meds and a beer (sorry Peter, Bud lite) at me and said she was going for a run with the dog!

Smith......look for me with a set of fins dragging off your and Kurt in 3 weeks buddy!

Jeff......come on now......you know its really Laura who has been the "brains" behing all that teasing over th years!

Rich........you show off way to much in the pool, stop acting like John in the weight room!

Sam Perry
September 20th, 2005, 05:59 PM

Welcome to the club! Although a different area of the body, recovery is recovery. Good luck AND TAKE YOUR TIME getting back. In spite of this, why don't you come down to Phoenix, I would love to have a shot at you now!

Phil Arcuni
September 21st, 2005, 12:44 AM
In spite of this, why don't you come down to Phoenix, I would love to have a shot at you now!

Hmmmm . . . I think Paul would have to be like the guy in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail (you know, the one who ended up with no arms or legs) before I could have a chance at beating Paul!

Hope you get better soon, Paul. I love to watch you swim (but not in your heat, when all I see are your bubbles.)

It is very ominous, however, when most of the best swimmers in the age group have nice discrete scars around their shoulders. I'm with Jeff (though he has a few more years to go,) the thought of the knife is scary! (but you did talk me into going under the laser.) When my shoulder starts to hurt I stay home. (I think some of you fellows live your life, and use your shoulders, a little too hard.)

Sam Perry
September 21st, 2005, 12:47 AM
Hmmmm . . . I think Paul would have to be like the guy in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail (you know, the one who ended up with no arms or legs) before I could have a chance at beating Paul!

That was great! I can hear him now, "Come back here, it's just a flesh wound!"

Paul Smith
September 21st, 2005, 09:30 AM
Come on Sam.....I couldn't touch you in any distance of backstroke except in my dreams.....you and Fritz both!

Phil.....its called arthritis (or plain getting old) and I refuse to accept it; clean it out and move forward!! Although I should place the blame on ASU coach Simon Percy who I trained with for 3 months going into May 04.....something about beating 20 year olds in practice that maybe my body didn't like after awhile!

As for the whole monty python analogy........you just summarized my and evil-goodsmiths relationship! I tried to drag his sorry ass onto a mtn bike this summer and put some hurt on those bird legs of his but he wasn't having any of it!

September 21st, 2005, 09:53 AM
looking forward to Paul venturing into the 200 back again. It negates the height advantage.

Paul Smith
September 21st, 2005, 10:23 AM
Fritz, there are few absolutes in life but I can absolutley assure you that I will never, ever swim that event again......most painful damn thing I've ever done........and thats from a guy who loves the 200 free!

September 21st, 2005, 10:42 AM
Fly and Free have taken it's toll on you. You won't swim the 200 back so what's the point. That leaves breast. I think it's obvious where your future lies.

September 21st, 2005, 10:47 AM
C'mon Fritz - Just because you think the 200 back is the world's most painful event doesn't mean you should "advise" Mr. Smith to move into a territory I'm fond of...

Matt S
September 21st, 2005, 12:49 PM
Oh Tall One,

Good luck, and I hope you get better soon.

I've appreciated our chances to chat, and occasionally joust about swimming, life the universe and everything. (The first person who shouts "42" will be shot summarily.) Truth be told, the reason that I sometimes get touchy about qualifying times for Nationals is that part of the thrill for me is being allowed to warm up in the same pool with swimmers like you, and seeing both of our names listed (albeit with about 5 pages of other athletes between our two names) in the results for an event.


September 21st, 2005, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by jonblank
C'mon Fritz - Just because you think the 200 back is the world's most painful event doesn't mean you should "advise" Mr. Smith to move into a territory I'm fond of...

Just thought while his mind was numb from the medication I could get him interested.

Peter Cruise
September 21st, 2005, 03:55 PM
Honestly, Paul (always a signal for insincerity), breastroke should suit you...you would have a real chance to develop some surgical scars on your knees to go with your shoulders & perhaps experience that most delightful of repetive breastroke conditions, the amazing perpetual pulled groin syndrome.

Paul Smith
September 21st, 2005, 04:12 PM
Your a cruel man Mr. Cruise......must be hanging around with Wayne McCaully these days!

Sadly I do not have the genetic predisposition to swim this stroke (although two knee surgeries from a late bloomer volleyball/skiing career gives me the scars).........check out Jeff Cummings feet sometime and see what it takes to master that stroke!

September 21st, 2005, 09:14 PM

I think you should do whatever it takes to master the last stroke. Ignore everything else. It may take years of hard work but think of the feeling of accomplishment. I'll be behind you and support you all the way.

September 22nd, 2005, 03:42 PM
Or is that clavically challenged? :-) Hopefully they did yours w/out the "took off the arm and put a new one on" scar that I have from college. I think the med technology is a bit better these days, now that dinosaurs don't have to carry the surgical tools in the OR.

Kick butt on your recovery, I'll be thinking good thoughts for you!! BUT take it slowly (smartly) and don't forget to keep your back strong.

That's a lot of trauma for your shoulder to go through - after mine I pretty much found the structural integrity to be SHOT after a few months of trying to reassimilate w/my college team, and ended up out of the sport for 10+ years. So don't join a college team! Of course the more invasive approach on me (hence the scar) had a lot to do with it as well, and hopefully you don't have that either. Just don't push it too fast! Remember, this is masters, we've got forever. (Thank goodness, with as slow as I figger out stuff.)

Sounds like you have a good PT plan and will be back in no time. I found strength outside the water (particularly in the back, broken record) helps tremendously. I also know a great PT in Phx who works with a lot of the ASU swimmers, if you need an extra in the recovery posse.

BE NICE to lovely Laura! We miss youz guyz. I've also heard that Hawaii is very therapyooootic for shoulder, if y'all want to come out and visit!!!

Take Care,

Paul Smith
September 22nd, 2005, 05:13 PM
Hey stranger.......what the heck are you guys doing in Hawaii? Send me an email so we can catch up!

Pretty lucky with this surgeon....only 5 holes and my intial PT (today) showed that i already ahd a pretty high degree of range of motion.......I'm optimistic but gotta long way to go!!

September 22nd, 2005, 05:40 PM
More breastroke should help even more.

September 23rd, 2005, 09:30 PM
If you thought the 200 back was painfull, welcome to an all out, gut buster 200 breaststroke. Short course yards can be more painfull because of all the time spent underwater. There are times after a 200 breast that the lungs feel like they are on fire, as do the forearms, legs and even the hair on the back of your head!!! Right Jeff?

Any time you want to work on your 200 yard breaststroke, I am there for you big fellow.:D

I have needed right shoulder surgery for 15 years, I have broken both elbows and have a stainless steel plate in my left forearm, but the great thing is swimming breaststroke does not hurt the shoulder, only free, and fly.

One year during a physical exam, the Doctor commented on my enlarged left chest muscles, much thicker than the right side. I had to think a moment, then exclaimed it must have been those thousands of laps of left handed one arm butterfly:p

Hope that PT goes well. After conventions Sports Medicine presentation, Nadine Day would be the PERFECT PT therapist, she really understands getting swimmers back in the saddle.

Paul Smith
September 24th, 2005, 09:47 AM
Wayne......quite waiting and get the darn thing fixed!! Just like you advised me on lasik a couple of years back!

Truth be told........I'm going to need to work on that bizarre stroke a bit more if evil-goodsmith rises to my challenge for next years nats; off events!

JS has to swim: 50 back, 100 back, 100 fly, 50 breast, 200IM (he can pick his 6th)

Me: 200IM, 400IM, 500 free, 1000 free, 100 back, not sure on the 6th.

Ion.......we'll bring you into the challenge; off events as well!

The main purpose of this of course is to end each day in so much pain that WE have to enter the beer relays that Mark Gill has proposed!

September 24th, 2005, 11:21 AM
Mark can single handed win any beer race or relay:D

Phil Arcuni
September 24th, 2005, 01:39 PM
More breastroke should help even more.

Fritz, I think that is a great idea, and I think that you would be a better person to help Paul than Wayne. The weather in Colorodo is much better and the place is much more athlete friendly -- I think you should move. You should work on your breaststroke also, as it will really help your backstroke in a couple of decades, after you become a good at it.

Mountain biking is good training also, but not on a regular basis. It is best to save the biking until the day before a big national meet, and then ride with Paul a good distance over some challenging trails. The mountains in Colorado are really beautiful. I think 100 miles is a good distance. Large front gears and small back ones will help you go over the uphill bumps more quickly.

While in the mountains, if you run into a man in armor on a holy quest, please be belligerent. He will appreciate it.

September 24th, 2005, 04:37 PM

Thanks for the suggestions and I'll give them exactly the consideration they're due. Next stop, the breastroke lane. See you there Paul.

Sam Perry
September 24th, 2005, 05:12 PM
Can I join y'all???

September 24th, 2005, 06:27 PM
You, me and Paul doing a breastroke workout together. I think I feel hell freezing over.

Paul Smith
September 24th, 2005, 07:02 PM
Hey what the hell......I'm on pain killers drinking beer so I'm up for anything right now!

Have to admit......some of you guys ctually coming out for a little mountain biking next summer could be pretty damn fun?!

Bobby Patten makes it a regular trip, Mr. Abrahams enjoys a good ride.....and now that I gave evil-goodsmith a hand me down specialized team works he has no excuses......except keeping those bird legs (Hey john, are those really your legs or are you sitting on a chicken!).

Sam Perry
September 24th, 2005, 07:07 PM
I am in, we have a place at Beaver Creek where we go for a week in the Summer and 2 in the Winter. I'll let you know, maybe it will work out...

September 24th, 2005, 08:51 PM
I could be talked into it.

Paul Smith
September 25th, 2005, 10:37 AM
We've had some discussions about a 3 way meet with some folks from AZ (Simon) an Las Vegas next summer (Fritz, we need a backstroker so you can be an honorary CO member)........the plan would be to tie it in with the open water champs we will be hosting.

I would however suggest we avoid Phil's suggestion for riding before the swims!

Sam Perry
September 25th, 2005, 12:24 PM
(Fritz, we need a backstroker so you can be an honorary CO member)

Here we go with the recruiting thing again!

Phil Arcuni
September 25th, 2005, 02:57 PM
I would however suggest we avoid Phil's suggestion for riding before the swims!

Hmph. Even Fritz says that my advice has some kind of value, and you say cross training is good! When the before-meet ride is finished, you should both do several maximum free-weight squats, as that is very similar to the breaststroke kick. Again, it is always a good idea to save that type of cross training to just before the meet.

By the way, I will be going to a renaissance fair(e), and I need to know when you guys will be on those bikes. ;)

September 25th, 2005, 08:49 PM
Obviously no breaststrokers here:mad:

Right before Nationals, try to kick as hard as you can as wide as you can. Put all the stress you can on the groin muscles that you can.

That formula is good for 6 weeks to two years of groin pull:D

For Paul who would never fall for Fritz's coaching techniques, always warmup breaststroke gently will very small narrow kicks. You can't get into trouble that way.

Speaking of Las Vegas, SPMA has a meet there January 28th.

Special events will have age group winners in the 50 free and 100 free win Vegas Free Play from local casinos. There is also Vegas Free Play for the 200 mixed medley relay. You must be 21 to win:D :D :D

Paul Smith
October 5th, 2005, 02:47 PM
Ahhhhh the joy of it all!

2 week post surgery went well.......Doc says I'm 3-4 weeks ahead of where he expcted (pretty much full range of motion). Mostly because there was less damage to the rotator cuff then expected and no sutures.....they did remove 1/2 ich of the clavicle and quite a bit of other crap (go some great photos to send you Nadine!).

Now the hard part.....being patient! I'm doing rehab/PT and was given the green light to get back in the water for kick only workouts, here's todays:

- 4 x 25 free left side, 25 back, 25 free right side, 25 breast (hands at sides for everything.....can you say balance drills!).

- 500 free kick using Finis snorkel.....build each 100 and maintain 6 beat

- 8 x 25 "power kick" (all out underwater with fins, no breath, rotate thru twice: fly, free, fly, back)

- Vertical kicking; 4 x 45 seconds on 30 seconds off, alternate fly/free

Only 8 more weeks till my first strokes again...giddy-up!