The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Going Finless

'Tis the season to be tapering! I've been reading posts by many athletic bloggers getting ready for big events and races and they are all tapering their mileage to make sure they have "fresh legs" (and arms and minds) for race day. I have started a different type of tapering. I am weaning myself off of fins in the pool.

I had an inflamed shoulder and the doctor was concerned about my swimming because every stroke can cause an impingement of the tendons where they pass through a space in the bones. This can fuel the inflammation and you end up with a more chronic "swimmer's shoulder." Often it is worse for women because we usually take more strokes, so the doctor suggested I use fins to reduce the number of strokes. So I very quickly became a rock star in the pool! What an awesome feeling to move through the water fast enough to actually feel the water moving over you. But sadly I must admit, I am now addicted to my beautiful fins. Last night I began the process of going finless. I immediately noticed that without the fins, I don't have the same sensation of moving through a space in the water (it's hard to describe but swimming slow feels way different than swimming fast). Worse than being slow is that my stroke count has gone up! Today when I rolled out of bed, I noticed all the little muscles in my back were sore. So taking off the fins means engaging my core more to really stretch out the strokes and get more streamlined, to swim like a fish! . Once again I am back in lane 1 where I belong, rediscovering my beautiful slowness.

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