Saturday, April 05, 2008

1k today!

I did it!! I swam a total distance of 1 km today, and there's a story behind it.

You see, early this year, I injured my left shoulder playing boxing with my boys. Not the contact sport, but the one on the Wii. I ignored it believing I just pulled a muscle and the pain would simply go away. It didn't. Days passed, weeks passed, the pain lingered. Then I kept re-injuring the same arm. Several times, in fact, just from doing normal activities.

About that time, I started seeing a massage therapist to have a back massage. I told her about my left shoulder and she worked on that too. On my third visit, she said I could be developing what was called a frozen shoulder whereby that part of your body loses significant movement, sometimes gradually.

"Some people don't even realize it until they can hardly reach their head to comb their hair," she said. I was alarmed because I was already struggling with reaching my back. My left hand went only as far as my left hip.

She gave me some exercises to do daily and suggested that I use hot and cold compress alternately on the part where it hurt.

"Another good thing is to go to the sauna for 5 minutes, then run cold shower on your shoulder, then back to the sauna... Always end with the cold. Swimming is also very good..." she advised.

And so I started swimming. I hadn't been to the pool in a long time, nor to the sauna. Since suffering from tendonopathy on my right arm last year, I lost my momentum in going to the gym. I was just beginning to go on the elliptical again. I thought I would swim for a change and to get my arms moving. Mr. Blossoms agreed to come with me because I was uncomfortable going to a public pool alone.

On our first visit to the pool at Fitness World, I realized how much movement I had lost on my left shoulder. I could not swim with it! I struggled to do the breast stroke using mainly my right arm and I had to kick harder too. I think I managed to do only a few laps. One lap was 18 meters or 72 feet.

Two days later, we went to the pool again. My arm was surprisingly better. I did 10 laps. After a week, I increased it to 12 laps. I kept going to the pool even as Mr. Blossoms had stopped going because the water was irritating his skin. Usually, there were only a few people in the pool between 6:30 to 7 in the morning, so I was okay by myself. I followed each swim with at least 5 minutes in the sauna, which is oh so relaxinggg...ahhh so goood... Then I do the hot and cold shower.

On the third week, I increased my laps to 20. And then I set a goal. I'd aim for 1K! At the rate I was going, I expected to achieve this in about 6 months.

Last week, I ate a cupcake and and a slice of chocolate cake left over from a conference at work. I told my officemate I would just increase my laps the next morning. So I did 24 laps.

Today, being Saturday, I had more time to swim. If I could do 24, I could aim for 30. When I got to 30 I thought I could do 40. I kept computing the distance I had covered. 40 times 18 equals, ummm, 10 times 18 equals 180 times 2 equals 360 times 2 equals 720...

When I reached 40, I thought I might as well do 45. But after the 40th lap, multiplying by 18 became harder and harder, I had to stop at the end of each lap and multiply on my hand. 47 laps times 18, ahh, ahh...I'll just do 50. It was much easier to multiply 18 by a multiple of 10. So that was how I ended up doing 50 laps. 5 times 18 equals 5 times 8 equals 40 carry over 4. 1 times 5 equals 5 plus 4, 9... 900 metres!

I just need to swim 100 metres more! How many laps is that? 100 divided my 18...I was too tired to think... I'll just do 60 to round it off.

I had been in the water for a little over an hour and my eyes hurt already. Although I felt I could swim some more, my eyes were hurting me. I stopped at 60.

60 times 18 equals 6 times 8 carry over 4. 6 times 1 equals 6 plus 4... 1,080. I did more than a thousand metres!!

So that's the story behind the 1km. But the best thing is I achieved it sooner than I thought!

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