Monday, December 7, 2009

Swimming in the Snow

The 2009 TCY Master's Swim Team photo taken Saturday, December 5, 2009.

There hasn’t been much running on these legs for the past week, yet, my legs have been getting much use in the pool. Perhaps we should change the name of my blog; but to what? Any suggestions?

Saturday was an awesome day at the Talbot YMCA. Mid-afternoon found me “cooling” down in the “warm” pool, hanging with friends, and watching the beautiful snowy scene out the window. The Talbot County YMCA (TCY) Masters Swim Team hosted our semi-annual Swim Competition and Chili Cook-off. We had a record 26 swimmers register from our own team and nearly 100 swimmers from all over the state. With 4 scheduled practices each week and the fact that we all live adult lives, it is rare that we ever get more than twelve of us together at any one time.

I had one of those “moments” before the meet began where I experienced pure happiness. It was when we had our team warm-up in the pool before the guests arrived. There was some music playing on the stereo which added to the mood and someone (I believe it was Lisa) said aloud what I was feeling; something to the effect that, “how cool it is to have everyone together for this afternoon. That it is wonderful to have a day where we come together as a group to push our limits and show our stuff after all the hard work, early mornings, long workouts, chlorinated hair, water filled goggles, pool water lung-rinses, and missed flip-turns”. As an adult there are few sports like swimming where you see the full range of 18 to 80+ year olds; where we all compete, no matter the age, level of competence, or physical restriction. I could loudly hear my team cheering for me as I swam the 200 breaststroke event. Though I know I can do better in the future, that swim was fun, especially with the voices of support ringing through my swimcap into my ears. Saturday with my team was one of those magical days I’ll remember as being special.

Oh, yeah, the swimming: the results can be seen here. I swam in 3 individual events and 2 relay events. I bested my competition 200 breaststroke time by nearly 10 seconds ( my aim is to best it by 10 more before spring). And, I swam my second fastest 50 yard freestyle, ever! The more I go to the meets and watch other swimmers, the more I know what I want and how I want to swim. I see where I want to go. With the continued help of the Galan Family and my TCY team I know I will improve.

The shoulder: I’m back to pre-surgery condition, maybe a little better overall. My palsy still persists in my left shoulder, but doesn’t affect my swimming strokes. However, if I don’t bring my hands together strongly during a dive off the blocks and will sometimes wrap my left arm around my chest because I’m not strong enough in that outer rotation to resist the rush of water as I enter. Other than that, things are good.

My goal is to be able to swim more than a mile in open water at an energy efficient pace of 30 minutes per mile or under, without be stressed. My kick is the key. And, to get a stronger kick in need to strengthen my core. I am attacking my core these days. Wish me luck. Propeller legs rule. Love and appreciate life ~ Michael