Skip to main content

It's a Froggy-Frog World

Okay, I know that's a bad wordplay on what is already an eggcorn, but I couldn't help myself. The allusion, of course, is to swimming, which is something I am able to do right now. In addition to laying off of running, I've decided I need to give biking a break, because, if I'm being honest with myself (which I sometimes hate doing), it aggravates my foot—and my pelvis, but that's another issue. While the impact of biking is minimal, I still use my foot to push down on my pedal, which creates enough pressure that it could be delaying healing. So there's my first confession for the day.

Confession #2: No activity I do is pain free. So even swimming sometimes exacerbates pain I've been experiencing in the medial (inside) arch of my foot. Frustrating, right? (Right!) But it's mild and its level of irritation seems to be directly related to how long and hard I swim. So when I went to a coached group swim last Tuesday, I swam harder than I normally do on my own. I felt the pain a bit more afterward. But the reward from this session was significant enough to warrant the mild and temporary pain. That's my position for now, anyway.

This was the most "coached" swim session I've ever had, which means I learned all things I suck at can improve at. It was a lot to take in at once—counting strokes, streamlining (which I had no idea I was supposed to do), following through, sighting, cupping, among others. But the coach, Julie, had us focus on just one thing at a time, so it didn't feel too overwhelming.

We're happy because it's over! Just kidding; it was fun. Really.

Even though we in the group weren't directly competing with one another, it's hard for me to swim next to someone and not try to beat them. This inclination proved detrimental when, toward the end of practice, we were to swim five 100s (100 m is out and back two times) with 8 seconds of rest in between at about 75 percent effort. I realized that what I thought was 75 percent was closer to 100, and I burned out really fast. I had to concede to the woman sharing my lane (who probably wasn't racing me like I was racing her). And that was hard to swallow. But here is where I need to step back and be okay with not being perfect or the best—I'm so far from it!—and just take these opportunities to improve.

I have a lot to practice going forward, but at least I know now what I should be working on. I had pretty much become complacent with my own way of swimming, which was based purely on what felt good and natural to me, but I now know that some of the efficiencies I learned may not feel natural at first. So I just have to deal with it.

Comments

People Liked to Read...

Surgery Chronicles: 12 Weeks and Progress

I'm now more than 12 weeks recovered from my second (and final!) foot surgery, and life is starting to feel a little more normal. When I last wrote an update, seven weeks ago (still blaming Irma for all of my delays), I had just gotten off of crutches but would wear my boot for two more weeks. I've been out of the boot and walking in shoes for just over five weeks. The constant discomfort I've felt in my foot from swelling is finally starting to wane. I work in the office now, I do my own groceries, and I even attended a work conference recently, which meant lots of walking at airports and the conference hotel, frequent standing, and few opportunities to elevate and ice. I was very concerned about how my feet, particularly the left one, would endure. And while it wasn't comfortable, I made it through, no worse for the wear in the end.

I joined a new gym/community center recently, with a new and beautiful outdoor pool, and I'm so happy that I'm able to use it n…

Irma: A (Mostly) Photo Essay

For nearly three weeks I've struggled to find the right words to write about Hurricane Irma, which destroyed islands in the Caribbean, then hit South Florida, eventually coming up the center of the state. The Tampa Bay region got really lucky in the end, as it avoided a direct hit and the storm had diminished to a category 2 by the time it arrived. And now Puerto Rico is experiencing a humanitarian crisis after being pummeled by Hurricane Maria. My heart goes out to those people.

My plan when severe weather is forecast to for Tampa is always to go to my sister's house, as the area I live in is highly flood prone and she is on higher ground. This time was no exception; however, her plan was different. She wanted to leave, head north, get out of the state, and she wanted me to go with her and the rest of the family. But I was not in a place to pack up and leave. I had real concerns about my foot recovery; I was about eight weeks post-surgery and very newly out of the boot and in…

Surgery Chronicles: I Exhale

I've really been holding my breath with this recovery, more so than the last one for some reason. After getting past the three-week point (which was two weeks ago, when I started to write this), I felt a little more at ease. Since then I've been changing my own dressing daily and slowly weaning off of crutches so I can now walk around in the boot—hands-free! I'm still a slave to icing and elevating as much as possible throughout the day. But the very best part? There's no other foot left to do. After this, I'm done, done, done. I can start to return to a life not defined by sitting and waiting and feeling confined and limited and trying my hardest to heal but having little actual control over any of it.

I wrote in my last post about the difficult emotions I'd been having throughout this second surgery recovery. I think I underestimated the psychological toll I would take doing one foot right after the other. And while there was a feeling of elation after gettin…