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Thread: Keeping Motivated

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Keeping Motivated

    Every time there is a thread about "why do competition" I note that it keeps me motivated to swim hard.I am discovering the truth about that for me in a less helpful way.I have a partially torn rotator cuff tendon(supraspinatis) in my left shoulder.Currently they are treating it conservatively with PT.If that works,fine,but if not, I will need surgery.Due to this injury I missed Indy and now MV.I am not supposed to swim with that arm yet,and since I have had problems with the right shoulder before, I thought it best to not do one arm swimming.With only kicking workouts available, and no meets to shoot for, am finding it very hard to enjoy workouts.Yes I can work on streamlining and SDKs etc.,but without a meet that isn't as important as I wish it was.I know many of you have been in this position before and I was wondering how you kept motivated.The one good thing,at least this happened in a year I am at the top of my age group(64.)
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    Every single time I have spent an extended period of time out of the water, either due to health/injury or other RL problems, when I finally get back to business I feel SO bad in the water, and get tired so easily, that I always vow fervently NEVER AGAIN to spend that much time out of the water! So I try to remember that feeling whenever events conspire to keep me out of the water for extended periods.

    You know you will be competing again eventually even if the specifics are uncertain right now. Kicking, streamlining, SDKs aren't a lot of fun if that's all you can do. But even a little bit of time spent in the water regularly can go a long way to maintaining some portion of your swimming fitness. Next year you are at the "bottom" of your age group and every little bit you do now will help you be faster next year.

    And who knows, maybe your kicking and SDKs will improve A LOT and give you another weapon in your arsenal when you enter your next meet.

  3. #3
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    Sheeesh, King Frog; that's about all I can offer you. I do hope you recover quickly!

    My last couple of months have been rotten, due to various (genetic) body ailments conspiring against me; mostly non-swimming related. It has been a real struggle, so I understand...

    Chris has a great approach; I hope his message will inspire you. You do, after all, have those killer King Frog legs, so keep on kickin', King Frog; keep on kickin'!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    Chris and Elaine,thanks.My SDK is terrible,but it is getting better and if FINA changes the BR rule as they have threatened a good SDK will help.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  5. #5
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    Don't even try to swim in any way right now. Hit the gym, go running, try other fitness oriented activities. I'm a big proponent of overall strength training. I've taken breaks from swimming of 9 years, 13 years and 2 years but was able to get back into swimming fairly quickly each time because I never stopped going to the gym.

  6. #6
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    Down & hurting, depressed about things that I cannot control are making this summer a bummer. When I do return to the indoor season, then I start to control how life affects me - better I hope !!

  7. #7
    Very Active Member robertsrobson's Avatar
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    Every time there is a thread about "why do competition" I note that it keeps me motivated to swim hard.I am discovering the truth about that for me in a less helpful way.I have a partially torn rotator cuff tendon(supraspinatis) in my left shoulder.Currently they are treating it conservatively with PT.If that works,fine,but if not, I will need surgery.Due to this injury I missed Indy and now MV.I am not supposed to swim with that arm yet,and since I have had problems with the right shoulder before, I thought it best to not do one arm swimming.With only kicking workouts available, and no meets to shoot for, am finding it very hard to enjoy workouts.Yes I can work on streamlining and SDKs etc.,but without a meet that isn't as important as I wish it was.I know many of you have been in this position before and I was wondering how you kept motivated.The one good thing,at least this happened in a year I am at the top of my age group(64.)

    No-one can tell you how to be motivated, but there are a couple of basic starting points for me. You can focus on getting back into competition and break that goal down into more manageable chunks - as it might be a bit too far off to feel real - or perhaps start finding new goals, which might be more to do with health and fitness, with competition as a secondary goal for now...

    Some (inexhaustive) thoughts / lessons around goal setting and injury rehab:
    A return to full competition might feel too far away to be tangible - this is where realistic time-bound goals are important. They keep you focused on moving forward but also help with patience. If you're clearly moving towards a goal by doing SDK etc, then it's less boring. They are also part of a process of getting back into competitive shape. Other parts of the process will come later, when this part is complete.

    Consider a new challenge in the interim, that might not directly contribute to competitive success in the future but will support it in terms of staying active and providing that enjoyment that you might lack in the interim, e.g. entering some running/cycling events?

    Now is a time to re-evaluate your motivations. Do you want to continue to treat competition (swimming) as the central focus of your physical activity? How might a new focus provide you with a greater impetus and still, potentially, allow you to compete if you choose to?

    I run in 10ks every now and again, and incorporate running into my routine not specifically to enhance my swimming performance (though it is a very time efficient way of getting some aerobic work in) but to keep up the variety and provide new challenges. I also value my fitness, for its own sake and for my health, far more than I used to, and so am happy doing things that may or may not be especially beneficial to swimming breaststroke races - though I'll admit that racing is also pretty important too.

    Revisiting your swimming goals and building in shorter, more rehab focused goals will help you, but it might also be an opportunity to re-evaluate what's important. Even if the answer is still competitive swimming, that in itself should provide additional resolve to get through this sticky period...

  8. #8
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    One advantage a sprinter has in these situations is the level of speed maintained with just dryland, kicking and streamline. That's most of it in my opinion

  9. #9
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    I agree with Keith (Fresnoid) that switching your focus to other physical activities for a while will help you stop focusing on swimming which can prolong your recovery. I had shoulder issues from age 49 to 52. I could train some but was always in pain. I switched my focus to mountain bike riding and it created a whole new set of goals that kept my fitness level very high. I was very motivated to improve at a completely different activity. Actually, I was having so much fun on my bike that it took a whole lot of convincing from my long time training partner to get me back in the water. When I did, my fitness was at a whole new level.

    Alan, be patient. We've got nice long time lines in masters. You'll be back better than ever.
    Rich

  10. #10
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    Allen,
    I read an article a while back. It was called something like "Throw Away the Pull Buoy" and it described the workouts a swimmer from Michigan was doing after shoulder surgery (I'm sorry I can't remember specifics). But the kid came back in an awesome way because of all the time he spent doing dry lands and kicking. I always think about it while I moan and groan during kick sets!!
    Steve

  11. #11
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    Re: Keeping Motivated

    I'd say one of the best ways I keep motivated is the fat that seems to develop on my body when I don't do anything. I'd have to agree with feeling bad in the water is always a good motivator when it comes to not spending time in the water. It is best not to feel rough when you're doing something you love.

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