Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Going through the motions

Hey Everyone-

Thanks for returning to my blog. Not much has been happening here in Los Angeles. As is the case everywhere in the world, the weather has been acting kind of crazy in California. I've been training outdoors over 5 years now and I love it. I love being able to look around and be able to swim under blue skies. Unfortunately lately, the blue skies have been grey skies and there is an occasional rain shower in the mix. When the weather is cold and gloomy, I usually start feeling some discomforts in my left hip.

What many people don't know or forget is that I had a skiing accident in Verbier (Switzerland) in March 1999. I fractured the neck of the femur and had 3 screws put into the femur to stabilize the fracture. I was told by the doctors that I wouldn't be able to do any competitive sports again. Naturally as 14yr old my world was shattered. About 2 or 3 months after surgery I was to be found in a pool again. I put a pull buoy between my legs and pushed off the walls with only my good foot. I didn't want to accept what the doctors told me in the hospital about not being able to swim again. About 9 months after my accident, I started to feel more pain in my hip. We consulted a doctor and x-rays showed that the ball joint of the femur had partially collapsed. My 3 screws were taken out and 1 plate, 5 screws and a wire were put in. After a lengthy rehabilitation process and pain enduring exercises I was finally able to get back in the pool. I started off only pulling and later was able to start kicking and pushing off the walls with both feet.

I believe that if it weren't for the accident I wouldn't be where I am today. 5 years after my accident, I took part at the Olympic Games in Athens. I was able to beat the odds. The injury gave me mental strength to push through pain barriers in races. Every time my body started to hurt in a race, I would remind myself how painful the accident was. That thought-process got me through a few races :)

Last week when doing a lengthy pull set, I heard something snap in my right shoulder. I knew it wasn't good and got out immediately to ice it. I spent the day icing and massaging my shoulder. I went to practice the next day in hope that it got better overnight. I was wrong. It got worse. I spent the remainder of practice doing nothing but kicking. I made an appointment at a highly recommended chiropractor and was able to see him same day. He readjusted my shoulder and put me on some rehabilitating motion machines. In the passed I used to try and tough it out and hoped that it went away. The doc said that my pectoral muscles were too strong for my shoulder stabilizing muscles on my back and that that was causing the sharp pain feeling. With a taped up shoulder I spent about 5 days doing nothing but kick in the water. I don't think I ever did so much kick in my life. The weekend helped my shoulder recover more. Monday was the first time I was able to finally do a full stroke without much pain. It's been getting better every day. I can't use paddles yet, but that will come with time. In the meantime I've been icing my shoulder and using a STEM (aka TENS) machine.

Otherwise, training has been going extremely well. I find myself in better shape than I ever have been at this point in the season. I'm going to get a taste of how I've been training at a swim meet in Irvine (The Speedo Grand Challenge) from 28-30 May. I'll be swimming the 50, 100, 200, 400 Free and possibly the 100 Fly. I like to swim other strokes than just freestyle at swim meets because it changes things up a little bit. Swimming Freestyle is fun, but it doing something different is always nice. I hardly ever train Butterfly in practice, so it'll be interesting to compare my times with the times from Swiss Nationals in March. I'll keep everyone posted with how it goes.

Until my next post; keep well and take care!!

1 comment:

  1. Hope your shoulder will be 110% again end of the month for the meet. :)

    About the "accident changing your life". I think, there are certain things in life, that first look very grim, but with time, we actually see the "good" in it and learn and become stronger than before.

    Wishing you all the best in Irvine :) swim strong, swim fast, hopp Schwiiz!!! :)