Saturday, November 8, 2008

Swimming Blues

Not swimming at all, is more like it.

I haven't been in the water since January, 2008. I'd taken my customary Holiday month-plus off, to try to get on top of everything family, and went for a workout one day at my local pool. It had been awhile since I swam and I felt slow in the water, so I put on my monster paddles (no wimp paddles for me -- bring on the dinner plates!) to try to hold some water.

It was a couple of weeks before I got in again and this time my shoulder hurt. So I thought I'd let it rest for awhile. After a couple months of this it never seemed to get better. I went to my doctor, who gave me a referral to an Orthopedist. He took an x-ray and scheduled me for an MRI.

Now I was certainly cool! The best part of that was casually saying to my friends, "Yeah, I'm scheduled for an MRI next week." I felt like a member of the 49ers! It was all I could do to not call the local TV stations and have them report on me. In the old days people used to say, "I'm going down to Cabo for the holiday," or "Loved it at the spring show in Milan," or "That horribly depressing film at Sundance really has Oscar buzz all over it," or "That reminds me of the color of the moon during the eclipse in Tierra del Fuego."

Now it's really all about injuries. And you aren't anything unless you have an Orthopedist who spells it "Orthopoedist" and claims to be a physician to a major Bay Area sports team. Bingo, I had both!

So the diagnosis was negative for anything torn. Good, I guess. But by that time I'd acquired "Frozen Shoulder" which made putting my hand on the steering wheel, and even sleeping tough. I had two complicated sleep positions. The first involved one arm by my side and the other one bent by my face, which looked a lot like a body that had just been thrown by the side of the road. My other position involved laying on my side with a pillow under my arm and resembled a kidnapping victim stuffed in the trunk of a car.

I went to physical therapy for awhile, but the passive-aggressive receptionist and the $4.50 parking really put a crimp in my motivation. So now I'm doing it on my own. We'll see how this develops.

I miss swimming. I miss being a swimmer. I miss skin that smells like chlorine and really clean feet, and not having to wash my hair at home. I miss flip turns and streamlines and leaving on the top. Sometimes going to the pool at Laney College each day to coach makes it better, because all my swimmers are doing it for me. But sometime it makes it worse, because I miss it so much.