When you’re active in sports, regardless of your age, ability, or athleticism, the potential for injury is always there. Most of us consider this an acceptable risk—indeed, the damaging effects of a sedentary lifestyle are far worse. If you’re reading this magazine, there’s a good chance that you’ve been injured at some point. It might even be why you’re a swimmer—a previous sport finally broke you down.
Or maybe a zillion arm rotations or breaststroke kicks have landed you in the rehab lane. Could be an embarrassing tangle with gravity has reminded you of your aquatic origins. If you’re a triathlete you've for sure had had some down time in the House of Pain. Let’s face it, as superhuman as exercise makes us feel, our bodies don’t always cooperate with our Big Hairy Audacious Goals.
Maybe you’ve never had to (sheepishly) ask your coach to put your swim cap on for you because you’re rehabbing a shoulder, but you might have helped a teammate put one on. And in the locker room after practice, a true friend is one who knows how high you like your ponytail. These can be humbling moments.
But athletes, especially swimmers, are a gritty lot. And compliant—treating physical therapy sessions as serious cross training so they can get back to the pool. Fish, after all, are supposed to remain in the water. Regardless of the severity of the injury or how inconvenient working around it can be, the siren song of our watery happy place is almost impossible to resist, even if it means swimming in that outside lane—you know, the one with the ladder and the stable gutters.
You’ve seen that swimmer—he comes to practice with a brave smile and a body part immobilized in a Ziploc bag and duct tape. Or the swimmer who hobbles to the water’s edge on crutches and then slowly sinks in, where she can use the working parts of her body to propel herself through the water because it feels so darn good to be back in it.
Gradually the body heals; the scull becomes a dog paddle, the dog paddle becomes a pull, and the pull becomes a stroke. The next thing you know that guy you’re always racing is back to kicking your butt one lane over. Even this is welcome after a long rehab. Getting back to your starting point beats being out of the water any day, even if it means Mr. Fast gets to keep serving up slices of humble pie.
Several articles in this issue of SWIMMER may be helpful if you’ve found yourself on the injured reserve bench: Jim Thornton gleans advice from leading sports psychologists on the mental aspects of recovering from a physical injury in his Healthy Swimmer column, “Fish Out of Water” (page 14).
Allan Phillips takes a look at how taping certain injuries might go a long way toward keeping you in the practice pool in his Dryland Difference column, “Elastic Sports Tape: Help or Hype?” (page 12).
Laughter is always good medicine, so if your funny bone is (literally) sticking out, you’ll want to tickle it with Paul McGhee’s “Pyramids, Pythons, and Pigs” (page 30), illustrated by Ed Colley, which introduces creative vocabulary terms to describe swim practice sets.
Guest columnists Bob Burrow and Bob Fernald address the sobering conundrum of briefs versus jammers in Both Sides of the Lane Line (page 6).
And finally, Elaine K. Howley’s excellent Splashback piece on Victorian sea bathing machines (page 48) manages to be both informative and subtly hilarious.
And hang in there. This too, shall pass
taken from http://john-badassrides.blogspot.com...from-here.html
Today was not exactly what I would call a banner day on the road less traveled. That would be the road to being a superhero (or at least the one toward being forever out of load-pile-land). In fact from where I sat at two I would have said "you can't get there from here."
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* still unable to swim
* still able to maintain an easy mile per day
* Back feeling better - but still pain.
* One more day to go on steroid
* motrin and naproxen intake reduced to one dose of each a day.