Monday 8th April – Guess it Is Age Catching up with me
All was going well after the session some 10 days ago then something went click and that was me out of action for a week. Sometimes something tweaks in your back and in a split second you know that continuous pain will follow for many days beyond. Simple tasks like sitting down, sleeping at night, dressing and undressing become major tasks, there never seems to be any moment where the pain isn’t present.
Resigned to this situation it was just a case of coming to terms that there will be a rest period of swimming, jogging, cycling and gym work. It is very difficult mentally not being able to do these things even though I knew it would be short term. Throughout this period the thought of maybe just doing a little work out kept digging into my brain even though I knew it wouldn’t do me any favours to a quick recovery.
Not being a fan of taking drugs or medication my partner insisted that painkillers should be taken for her sake with my sleeplessness at night keeping her awake. What helped most was a blend of Bulgaria Brandy (70% proof), very hot chilli peppers and ground black pepper mixed and rubbed on the painful area on the base of my spine. Although smelling like a distillery it was far more effective than all these fancy painkilling drugs.
Day after day there was a slight improvement and the last weekend it was a slightly nervous man now thinking that the next swimming session would be more difficult not having been in the water for 10 days. Well, my fears were ill-founded as I found out.
The Car Park ticket machine showed 09:44 as I arrived at the school. It was Kolo the incessant English speaker met changing room asking me whether I had any contemporary English poetry book for him to borrow. I did have some of these books at home but from my experience lending out books and such is always the last I’d ever see of them. Not that I didn’t trust Kolo, it was just from many previous lending outs and disappearance of part of my personal library. My mind, however, was more on the pool and how I’d feel after a long break.
Into the shower, a cold shower being the first in and then into the pool. My plan was just to focus what I felt comfortable with today and that was bobbing, breaststroke and freestyle left side only breathing. All was done and the comfort zone was brought back which surprised me. Just a few moments of water intake which now didn’t put me off from continuing and not panic. I know there will always be occasions of this and teaching myself not to just stop but to deal with it by using another form of recovery had to be practised. During the whole session, there was only one moment my feet touched the pool floor other than turning around each end. There is however a lingering thought of knowing that there are only 17 metres to safety and with a 2 miles stretch to safety in the event is a big psychological barrier to try and overcome in the near future.
Fears allayed after today’s session and a renewed confidence that work can be focused on swimming endurance rather than solely technique for the time being. Learning right sided breathing in freestyle can wait a while as it is holding me back and digs a hole in confidence.
Looking forward to the next session.
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