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slick's shoulder surgery blog

Balancing Act

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So after 3 weeks in the "Sweet Spot", I decided to attempt swimming 2 days in a row. This was 2 weeks ago now, and I am still recovering

At this point I know that whenever I get soreness that won't go away after 2 practices or so, its time for some 'extended' rest. So I took myself out of the pool for 3 days in row last weekend, and when I returned I had a great practice and felt good afterwards. The next day, since I was feeling OK, I decided to do my usual round of shoulder exercises/physical therapy upkeep. Well that apparently over-did things and now I am sore and weaksauce again! UGGGGHHHHH. Its been a while since I have been this sore....back to the point where just folding laundry and doing dishes will give me that 'dead arm' feeling. HIttin up the ice and NSAIDS…..which of course means that I've over done it - AGAIN!

I've got to say that I am getting pretty sick of this stupid cycle. Still learning I guess. Its just difficult to distinguish between a) the feeling of fatigue that I will recover quickly from and that serves to make me stronger; and b) the feeling of fatigue that takes me over the edge and ends up setting me back a few weeks. It is a balancing act, thats for sure!

Its also hard because I remember how good I felt when I was mostly kicking and doing multiple daily sessions of shoulder exercises. I felt really strong, but I was really keeping things in check. Even though I was in the pool just as often as I am now, I wasn't doing nearly as much actual swimming. But its still hard not to get frustrated when my shoulder is feeling weak, because I feel that it should only be getting stronger. But then I have to remind myself of the toll that swimming really does take on my shoulder. Thinking about my PT routine, I do about 3 sets of 10-15 reps for a few different exercises…. so we're talking like 200 reps total for one session. But how many "reps" are involved with just 100 yards of freestyle? LOTS. (I figure about 28-30 left arm strokes.) And how many 100s have I been putting myself through lately? LOTS! (So about 1000 left arm strokes or more, 3 days a week.) So I need to continually remind myself of that……

Sigh. So my plan at the moment is to go back to kick-only workouts for the next week or two. There is really no other way to kick this soreness other than by giving my sad and tired shoulder a break for a while. Le suck! I also set up an appointment for a sports massage, which I am thinking about splurging on for a few sessions to help me get back on my way. This scar tissue has got to go, that is for sure!

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Updated June 24th, 2013 at 06:16 PM by swimslick



  1. amhansen317's Avatar
    Thank you for your posts. I will have shoulder repair on August 7. I too am concerned with the amount of time I'll be dry. I am a long distance swimmer so any time out is a bummer. Luckily, my surgery is scheduled after my 8 mile swim across Wisconsin's Lake Geneva and based on your progress I can set my sights on Chicago's Big Shoulders for next year.

    I can identify with your swim stroke advice PT experience. Mine tried to convince me to swim fly with my thumbs down for the entire stroke.
  2. swimslick's Avatar
    No problem - glad to help!

    Distance, eh? Just be sure to listem to your body. I thought I would be able to maintain a mere 10-12k per week at this point but turns out that was unsustainable for me and I hit a huge wall. I'm in the midst of a semi self imposed 2 week break now (part of that time is vacation/travelling) and I will be starting over yet again when I get back! I think it will be good though...shoulder should benefit from the extended break I hope.

    Good luck with your surgery!