Saturday, February 17, 2018

New Moves, Same Story?

Toungue-tied and twisted
Just an earthbound misfit, I
                         - Pink Floyd

I swam near two weeks ago.  The swim went okay, 45 minutes or so, very good for a first swim, but it worked me over something fierce.

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I’ve been playing with meditative focus on Chalkra points (the 7 common ones used all over the web), and had some interesting changes in my neck, though it was in combination with the shoulder changes of late.

It, too, had changes to my neck and throat, making swallowing difficult again for some time.  That was until it got really bad, and I found myself pulling my arm out of socket to stretch some perceived knot in my throat.  Then, that food swallowed, the neck felt much better, and has felt better since.  Some changes still progressing from this up into my jaw and face.

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The other new move, just today, was around the shoulders.  Instead of focus on the joint, or a point on a 360 around the joint, I broadened.  I went on the chest and back, maybe 5-7 inches from the shoulder.  The results were immediate, new “adjustments” to the shoulder.

The first time, it changed something in the right shoulder that cascaded down my right arm, quite involuntarily.  Similar to how some old “adjustments” made me punch myself in the head accidentally, this one sent the arm in an awkward swing.  Of course, I was not lucky enough to only hit air.  The back of my hand slammed into a counter top edge, a rounded one, but hard enough to break skin.  Should leave one hell of a bruise.

I did some more playing with it in the hot tub (mainly because I had just added chlorine and thought it the easiest way to disinfect the hand, lol), and after some moderate work, the body feels quite different, hopefully for the better.

Predictably, putting the comfy shirt on afterwards, the shirt was not so comfy anymore.  I changed some form again, though not much, I believe.  It’s just suddenly tighter in some spots, looser in others.

I am really not sure how much longer I can do this.  I am mentally spent, just trying to hang on until it warms up outside.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A Useless, Unimportant, Boring, Not Interesting At All, Update

I hate cold.  This remains true.  It has been very rough since I stopped swimming.  I’ve already gained 12 pounds, too.

That said, I got one of those, under the desk, pedal exercise thingies, with my Christmas Amazon gift card winnings, and just started using it, although in a ergonomic gamer chair.  The result is that I can do a little work on my back, somehow, by pedaling in a crunched-like position, and focusing on my back.

Doing it, I found myself working a muscle group I would often target while kicking in the pool.

Best case scenario, it helps me continue to work muscle up my back and to the shoulders.

Time will tell.

See.  I told you this was boring.

Friday, October 6, 2017

One Fisted Breast Stroke

In what was likely one of the last swims of the season if long range weather forecasts are correct (hopefully, I’ll get 8-10 still this month before going into hibernation mode), I had significant progress in both shoulders.

At first, I tried out swimming breast stroke with both hands in loose, relaxed, fists.  This put the onus on my biceps and shoulders to push the water compared to the cups of my hands.  Early on, I noticed good things happening in my right shoulder, bad, very bad, horrible things in the left.

I switched to a one fisted breast stroke, the right in a loose fist, the left using a cup and more traditional pull.

Just as toe walking cascades up the legs and has the hips in a poorer position, my fingers do much of the pulling for the cups of my hands when I swim.  Yet, it does appear that my off hand (I’m right handed) needs those muscles, and that line of tension, strengthened.

In the right shoulder, wow.

It quickly was further back then ever.  When I switched to kickboard later, my arm position was totally new because the right shoulder was further back.  It cascaded into my neck and head and eyes.  I was able to yawn in new ways, stretching muscles normally locked.

I did some unwinding.  No, I did a lot of unwinding.

Hopefully I get some good work done before I run out of warmth.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

It Got Cold

It looks like it will warm up next week again, but the cold is coming.

Today was in the 50s while biking to the pool.  Too cold.  I tried, but it was a difficult experience.

I have used the metaphor before regarding a garden hose with kinks that have become near permanent.  When it's cold, swimming is like trying to water a lawn with such a hose.  Sections of my body simply can't get loose, kinks remain and cause problems to cascade everywhere.

About 80 minutes into the swim, I felt decent, but it was still clear I was not going to get things able to work, able to adjust.  I was not worth the extra pain and discomfort of the rough start, and it was a very rough start.

Now, it's weekends where the lap swim ends when it starts on weekdays.  So, there may well be a month still with some decent swimming, but I am dreading the eminent end of my swim season.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ride the Wave, Stupid!

Okay.  I have not been able to pre-formulate a narrative for this one.  I have no real idea how to put it in prose.  So, I am not really going to try.  This one is much more so for me to help remember than any attempt to express it to others, but who knows?  Maybe it will be clearer to readers in this form than my attempts at writing.

Presumption: the path of a wave is a helix

I have written about the Illusion of Circles.  I do not believe things exist in two dimensions in this reality.  There are no lines or points on lines, no circles.  Things exist and move in 3 dimensions.

A wave does not travel the path of a sine wave or cosine.  Those are both two dimensional translations, interpretations, of a helix.

What I've Been Doing Focussed In Two Dimensions

Even when I have been conscious of my muscles and ligaments being connected in a helix path around my bones and through my body (expansion and contraction is a topic for another day, but a hint is that I'd bet it expands and/or contracts, size wise, or at least it ideally does, at a rate consistent with phi, a Golden Ratio type thing), I always focus on points to "unfold," planes to bend upon, etc, always in two dimensions.

Surf, Baby!  Surf!

My focus should always be along the path of a wave, allowing my muscles to ride the wave, and that wave is a helix.  Even if I am correct that my body has "kinks" or "folds" or some form of tangles like bunched up curtain cords, the way to correct the issues will not be found in two dimensions.  Movement should stress riding the wave, allowing muscle contraction and physical movement to occur more naturally.

Example: Kick Board Kicking

I am not going to try to write what happened in the pool or what I hope was progress, but I will give one example with how I found really interesting changes applying this to the kick board.

I focussed at the very tip of an ergonomical kick board, and I made little circles, tiny circles, with it, which, moving forward made a tiny helix.  This wave I caught with my arms, into the shoulders, through the body to the hips, and transformed into fluid kicks.  I could feel the oscillation.

I noticed, though tiny and possibly unnoticeable by others, I was slightly wiggling like a crocodile atop the water.  I had far less drag than normal.  I was moving pretty smooth and fast with relatively little expended energy.  I was surfing more than pushing through the water, after all.

Last Point: Oscillation

One thought which hit me during the swim I now want to add while I have in my head was regarding oscillation.  It also occurs in three dimension!

I return to the crocodile.  I would be VERY interested to see video of some swimming animals be analyzed and checked for a helix where we visually presume two dimensional oscillation.  I would not be surprised at all to find swimming animals do this innately, say the tip of a dolphin's nose makes tiny circles like the tip of my kick board, that type of thing.

I'm exhausted.  No more writing.  Hopefully, this line of focus will lead to more helpful changes before I run out of warm enough weather to swim in.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Swimming Downhill

I've been using the spring theory and focusing on my obliques.

Today, a change happened several times during breast stroke.  My hip angle must have tilted somewhat, because my glide felt like I was going downhill!?!?

Granted, what really happened, most likely, is that my normal glide was pushing with vertical drag, as if going uphill.  Therefore, a change towards horizontal FELT like I was going downhill.

Regardless, it was pretty cool.

Another little taste of progress during the close of summer desperation.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Spring Theory

I've been swimming like mad as the end of summer pool hours approached.  I don't remember the last day the pool was closed for a swim meet, but that was the last day I missed, easily 2 months ago.  I am tired.  Some good(ish) days, some very tough days.

That said, I had a new thought today, and I laughed while swimming at the thought of naming it Spring Theory, a play on String Theory, but anyways . . .

I need to flush it out, but the basics is a meditation technique, using mindfulness, which imagines the body as a number of springs.

For some time, I have been getting a "spring feel" in my legs when I kick while my hips are at an angle I believe is superior to my baseline.  It feels like pulling in the foot, as if a spring, curleyquing around the leg.  It does not compress, per se, but maintains a bit of the helix position to it.

Well, thinking much on this, I played with the idea that the whole body was like this, but how would my arms work under this approach?

I mean, the reality is probably similar, with my arms both springs that have been overstretched, and therefore not wrapping around the shoulder currently.

Almost just as the thought occurred to me, I was able to "pull in" one arm, then the other.  It was not perfect, but it was real, a real improvement.

Again, much to flush out, but now that I have written this entry, even if forgotten, I will return to this at some point, and possibly make more progress.