August 27, 2008


After not having the use of my arm for 2.5 weeks, I'm beginning to adapt and figure out how to do a variety of things with just one arm. I've learned how to put my hair in a ponytail. I can get a pullover shirt on. I figured out how to shave my legs without slicing them up. But most exciting of all, I learned how to swim again.

It was my second post-accident trip to the pool and it couldn't have gone better. I started out with kicking and then grabbed a pull buoy and did some one-arm freestyle. After 100 yards, I decided to give it a try without the buoy. It only took me a moment to get comfortable and I was able to swim 200 yards easily so I kept going. It's harder work than regular swimming, but mostly because I have to kick a lot more to compensate for only pulling on one side.

Three months ago, I stood at the end of pool wishing I could swim to the other side and back. Every length was a struggle and I wondered if I'd ever get it. I found myself standing in the same place today, experiencing many of the same feelings. Only the hard work I put in over the last three months made it possible for me to adapt and learn this new way of swimming quickly. It was an incredible feeling, the best I have felt since my accident.

Of course it got me thinking all sorts of unrealistic things: Could I compete in my late September tri and just do the swim with one arm? Should I take my wetsuit to Madison and try a swim in Lake Monona? I decided I will wait and see how the follow up with my orthopedist goes on Friday before I let my imagination run too wild.

It was hard to follow up such a great swim with yet another elliptical session, but I managed to motivate myself to go to the gym tonight regardless. I was aiming for an hour, but as I neared 50 minutes, I swore I couldn't take another second, let alone another 10 minutes. But then 50 came and I forced myself to endure 10 more. I keep reminding myself that it might save my marathon and that keeps me going. Running will feel like such a sweet reward for all of the pain and boredom over the past few weeks.

Distance - 900 yards
Time - 35:00

Distance - 6.05 miles
Time - 1:00:00

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