Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Most Unpleasant Realization

[This post, the realization I had today, is not exactly news to me.  What struck me was the extent of it.  Much like my initial, and rather foolish, belief that it would be a couple months of "adjusting" after the initial changes and I'd be raring to go (that was how many years ago?  7?  8?  Yikes!), I have grossly underestimated a subjective aspect of this entire project.  At least I am confident, still, that the paradigm of how I intend to eventually tell the tale, trying to bring people through it rather that just explain what I believe, is clearly the best approach in order for anyone to come close to grasping exactly what I am trying to express.  So, this one is more informative than artistic, function over form.]

I had a big change in the pool today.  At the 200m mark of a 300m pull (that's freestyle arms with a pull buoy between relaxed legs), I had an all new, to me, sensation.  My shoulder blades were free, as if no against or stuck to, my chest and/or rib cage.

The classic problem resurfaced.  I had no idea shoulders moved so independently of the rib cage. 

For most movements where the arm is raised above the body (or in freestyle, in front of the swimmer), the portion of my chest had to expand.  That is to say, I would either inflate my lungs or rotate by chest significantly as the arm went above the body (or forward in the pool). 

While I have often noted how my body has always felt segmented, it is clear that before today, I thought the shoulders and chest, at least in this movement, were part of a single segment.

The sensation I felt was a stretch of muscles from my lower back up to my shoulders, gliding along the top of the water as my shoulders did the work of pulling.  My chest and ribs merely floated underneath, slightly rotating with each stroke.  This is a marked difference from basically lunging a portion of my chest with each arm stroke.

No doubt I'll get all new forms of soreness tonight, as well.  Joy.

*     *     *     *     *

Now, it is nothing new to me that I had no idea of this, lets call it "segmentation," issue.  I knew it existed, just not where, and I new any new adjustment would lead to previously unknown sensations.

I realize, now, however, just how significant my subjective mis-articulation of any previous descriptions of sensations must be to a reader.  Before this point, how can any reader (or doctor for that matter), have any idea what I had described regarding my shoulder movements?  They would interpret the words in line with their own perception, from their own perspective, one in which the shoulders are not part and parcel of chest (not a single segment with the rib cage).

True communication is impossible, and my attempts to be in the same ballpark as the reader's interpretation was not even discussing the same sport.  Sigh.  So much work to do on so many fronts.

*     *     *     *     *

I find myself suppressing a bit of anger, too , as perhaps this is precisely the type of thing which the MRIs I pleaded for so many years ago could have shown.  Perhaps the "misalignment" or some type of knot or kink (making portions of muscles that should be separate from the rib cage actually be visibly "stuck" entwined with the muscles of the rib cage) could have been discovered.  Maybe I could have been helped (even believed, by Gods!) to get through this metamorphosis in less time and with less pain.

Imagine that.  Three to four years of less pain, once again becoming a functional member of society that much earlier, getting to actually live life instead of just endure pain and persevere.  Okay, now I am a bit angry. 

Of course, creating a new holistic branch of wellness, based upon objective, quantifiable criteria is the ultimate goal of this endeavor.  A noble quest, no?

That it may eventually keep people from having to pay Kaiser millions would just be a little gravy on top.

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