Wednesday, March 24, 2010
So when someone has a legitimate overuse injury, the impression is that they're trying very hard indeed. And that the coaches will finally leave them alone while they rest up guiltlessly. It's like the ultimate excused absence.
These days, decades of my own overuse injuries later, I'm not so impressed. They're usually not a sign of toughness so much as tangible evidence of bad judgment, and anyway, the last thing I want to do is rest up.
That's why I'm really hoping this pain in my shoulder is from trying to learn the backstroke. Not that it changes anything in the judgment category, but maybe it means it's not exactly an overuse injury with regard to my freestyle. Then I won't have to rest as long and maybe it won't mess up my Alcatraz/Golden Gate swim too much in two and a half (!) weeks.
I've been trying to become a more well-rounded swimmer and learn the other three strokes, and I was fine with the process being uncomfortable and humiliating if it ultimately improved my freestyle. But I'm about as flexible through the shoulders as a marble statue (float about as well as one, too; if only I were sculpted as nicely as one), and was no doubt overreaching in all sorts of wrong directions. This past Monday morning, the typical soreness turned to a shooting pain, and immediately it was time to change over to side-kicking, head-leading, fist swimming and otherwise focusing on my body position instead of my arm strength.
So far, so good. The pain is still there, and still pretty acute, but it only takes place with specific arm motions and stresses - happily, arm motions and stresses that are not consistent with proper freestyle. I'll switch over to the slow lane and concentrate on form, keep my cardiovascular fitness up through running and cycling, let the rest of the group mess with those other strokes, consume my weight in ibuprofen, and see where it goes from there.
Or rather, how it goes from there. Where it goes is Alcatraz. Whatever it takes.
Posted by Jef Mallett at 12:45 PM