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slick's shoulder surgery blog

The Sweet Spot (~7.5 months out)

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Wow, long time no update! Let's see…..I think its been 29 weeks and 3 days since the surgery now!

I guess you could say that for the past 6 weeks or so I have been on cruise control. I came to realization that I probably pushed myself a bit too hard going into the meet at the end of April. I guess I just needed to prove to myself that I could 'go there', but I am glad that I did it because helped show me that it could be done and that I will eventually get back to the way things were Since then I have scaled back quite a bit, not so much yardage wise but intensity-wise. Taking things slow this time around and not pushing too hard!

I've still been keeping up a 3x per week (10-12k) practice schedule since the meet, however its only been the last 2-3 weeks that I can truly say that I've felt 'normal' again. I was quite sore for several weeks (beginning before the meet), but lately I have been virtually pain-free to the point where I'm doing full, mostly non-modified workouts again (the snorkel still comes out fairly often, mainly for sets/portions of sets that involve 200+ intervals)…..plus no NSAIDs or ice needed lately! Haven't felt my arm go numb in quite a while so thats always a good sign! The plan is to hang out here for a while and maintain for a bit. On occasion I do feel my RIGHT shoulder getting a little sore, so I do feel that I am slightly unbalanced still and my right shoulder can sometimes get a bit overloaded. I'm also still working on getting some more strokes in….. I've been throwing out a 25/50 of back or fly here and there without much issue so it feels time to slowly add in more.

Other shoulder-related things I've learned/noticed:
- FINALLY able to sleep more on my left side without irritation/pain. The time that I can sleep on my left side without having to shift has noticeably increased - woohoo!
- Flexibility has also increased. Can easily lie down on my back with both arms overhead and resting on the ground. External rotation still feels pretty stiff….but I also don't expect to fully get that range back. Luckily it doesn't really impact the swimming so much. Otherwise I'm feeling that I've got 95% of my flexibility back!
- Strength is a different story, still not quite there yet. Like I said above I can definitely feel some imbalances in the water, and those imbalances become quite obvious when you can tell you're not swimming in straight line! Definitely a bit of 'lean' to my stroke sometimes, evidenced by frequently hitting the lane line with my right hand lol. Lets hope there are no finger injuries in the future!
- Related to working on strength, I have learned that it is no bueno if I go too long without doing my shoulder exercises. My shoulder will get weaksauce and then get sore real quick if I slack! I've found that its not so much the Y's and T's and rubber band stuff that makes the difference however, but more the smaller isometric exercises. The one that I make sure to do the most often is the 'reverse pendulum' with a 3-5lb weight….which just involves lying on your back holding the weight straight up in the air, and then twirling your arm around in various size circles and at different angles until its somewhat overhead. Works a charm!

Anywho, not much else to report! I'm pretty much just hanging out in the right lane for now. I've seemed to have found my 'sweet spot' for now so I don't want to jinx anything haha. The outdoor swim season has begun and I have been enjoying working on my tan If things continue to go smoothly I will turn on my blinker and starting moving left over the next few months!

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