Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Swimming With Shoulders - A Relative Breakthrough

[Short entry (or not so short, in retrospect), primarily as documentation in case I do not get it in my journal.  With breakthroughs come recovery and "adjustment" time, and punching keys is infinitely easier than trying to move a pen at the moment.]

I just finished the second day of two substantial swimming experiences.  Yesterday, I did 2,500m total in the pool, including 400m of backstroke (total mixed into the workout, not in one shot).  The results were significant, though there was a price.  Today, I did 3,200m, my first time ever doing 2 miles total in the pool.  Even back when I'd do a mile straight pulling or breaststroke, I never went for that 2nd mile total (proof I never swam on a swim team, eh?).  The price I'll pay for today is yet to be experienced.

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Yesterday, I focused on four points, one in each shoulder and one in each hip.  This was a further attempt to get away from a focus on the hands and feet which I have hinted on before, that has been a "symptom" of myself in everything I have ever done, from walking to writing.  The first result was an ability to be much more upright while jogging home.  There was far less noticeable stress points in my body.

There was also substantial "adjustments" in my hips and shoulders (often linked) and much around my neck and upper spine.  The movement in my neck created noticeable changes in both my sinuses and jaw.

The price was a mistake I have made before.  I felt so good (relatively speaking) that I decided to BBQ some hot dogs for dinner (the family expected home late).  This was quite dumb.  Hot dogs are easily the one food I try to swallow portions of without sufficient chewing.  Even on normal days, I am unable to swallow them on occasion.

Yesterday, it was the worst experience I've had in years.  So much muscle movement around my throat added to the wrong meal choice, and I experienced a major esophageal blockage.  I was unable to swallow for over an hour and twenty minutes.  There was much coughing and much pain, not to mention two wasted hot dogs, having barely gotten through half of the first before experiencing a personal hell.

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Back to the pool today, where I did 2 miles.  Woohoo!

I continued to focus on the four point approach initially.  At approximately 1,300m, I began to swim with my shoulders.  I could still feel they were not properly aligned, but that I could actually swim with them as the focus was a tremendous breakthrough, I believe, in trying to get back into balance.

Most noticeable was a dramatic change in my breaststroke, where the "squeeze" became something totally new.  Instead of squeezing my hands together before they launched forward, my inner arms were snapping against the sides of my chest.  It literally created a new propulsion from the movement, as if a momentary chicken imitation pushed water behind me with my elbows.

For a while, I had what I call a Conan moment.  This new pull was much more powerful than it had any right to be.  As if freed from much of the counter-weights that usually hold me back, my arms could really send me forward.  Though in truth, I suspect some of this had to do with the likelihood of being in a more streamline position as well, creating less drag during the stroke.

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I was so ecstatic I kept on swimming and swimming, even though the new movements had me getting very sore.  Right now, as I write, I don't care about the price.  I swam 2 miles!  I swam with my shoulders! 

I'll just have to be smart and eat oat meal tonight instead of hot dogs.

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