15/05/2012 by Carl Reynolds
Having restricted my swimming for the last month due to generalised repetitive strains in both arms, shoulders and lower back – all of which are getting ongoing attention – I’m slowly getting back into it. This has both a benefit and a dilemma. The benefit has been to take me away from a training schedule that’d be having me swim regular two hour plus swims in 10 to 12 degrees water! But seriously; it’s meant I’ve thought a lot about why I desire to swim so much and achieve what only another 1200 odd other humans have done. Initially I pondered whether my back was ‘out’ because of the subliminal stress of a channel swim (and a few other things). But I don’t think it is. I’ve been swimming for nearly five years now and have been lucky to have had only one small break due to injury in this time. I’m coming up for fifty too and so I should stop thinking I’ll recover the next day and begin to listen to and respect my mind and body; but without inhibiting myself from what I can achieve. The pause in my training is good. I only have to do one long swim this year – 10k off Brighton beach in July. The rest is optional.
And the dilemma is that I’m off to a swim camp in just under 4 weeks where I’d have been swimming at least 5 to 10K every day; and on some a lot more. I’m going, but I think that I need to remind myself that I’m not in the Channel til 2014 and in the meantime I can learn a lot by understanding my limits; knowing when to push them and observing and sharing with friends and, hopefully, new friends that I’ll meet in the seas and loughs in Cork. And putting in some good time as a supporter; as I’m a support swimmer for at least one Channel swimmer this year.
Another benefit has been to swim slower, focus on my stroke, get out sooner, play handball, chat to people various much more and remember that swimming is also fun. Thanks in particular to wild woman for reminding me of this.