Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Joys of One Armed Swimming

I had a follow-up with the doctor this past week and am so pleased to announce that he gave the official O.K. to run and swim again! Until now I've been spending a lot of time on my "rides to nowhere" on the bike trainer, as well as using the elliptical trainer and doing some strength training. Thank goodness for the Tour de France! That and all the great coverage of the recent ITU races have really helped keep me going. (And of course, my buddy Alex Trebek---haven't forgotten him!) I have to admit I was a little naughty in the days leading up to the doctor's been so stinking hot lately that I just HAD to get in the pool. At first I told myself I would just walk a little and enjoy being surrounded by water. Walking quickly turned into kicking on my side, which then turned into one-armed swimming! When I saw the doctor he asked if I'd been behaving myself...when I said "mostly" he said he didn't believe me...I think he knows my type all too well! He only mildly scolded me though, and it was more or a reminder that it doesn't matter how fit you are, that bones take the same amount of time to heal whether you're an athlete or a couch potato. That and to remember to lather up on the sunscreen to help the scar heal nicely. He noted that my range of motion is really good (I think his words were "you're pretty loose for being a sling for the past 4 weeks"---ha!) and that I don't need any formal physical therapy. He left by saying that whatever I've been up to is fine (he said this a little too knowingly) and gave the go ahead to start running with the sling on, doing whatever I can in the pool, and beginning some specific range of motion exercises.

So...I'm really tuned into one armed swimming right now! (The masters swimmers get to enjoy my enthusiasm for one-armed drills as a result.) I discovered I can do all four strokes, and I was even able to sort of hold a kick board out in front of me yesterday. Running has also been added back into my repertoire. I ran a whopping four miles yesterday! And I can now rest comfortably on both the handlebars and aerobars on the bike, which makes my rides to nowhere much more enjoyable for my tailbone.

So there's the update. I spent the morning yesterday spectating at a local triathlon, cheering on a handful of friends and athletes who were racing. It was fun to be able to devote my entire attention to their races...but I must say I'm itching to get back in the thick of things myself!

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