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.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

So, . . . , This Happened.

I did 5k in the pool.

Well, at least 5k.  I had to backtrack my count a couple times.  So, odds are I did more.

Doesn't matter.  I am just pleased with myself.


There is little doubt some postural changes are happening that have aided this increase in max distances I have been doing.  Muscles in my back are progressing, but my right leg at the hip is also giving me significant problems.  It easily becomes very tweaked and painful.  Much of every swim is focused on it, which takes focus away from my back, which then screws more with the hip.

So wrong.  To best get work on my right thigh and hip done, I have to NOT be paying any attention to my right thigh or hip.  Yes, this invites repeated lapses and frustration.

But I did 5k today!

So, for now, I am pleased.

And tired.

And getting more sore with every passing minute.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Return of the Tinture

It has been well over a year, but I finally got my hands on a THC tinture again.  I had my first swim using them just hours ago.  I did my normal Adderall dosage, and 1/3 the recommended tincture dosage.

The swim started very poorly, but I kept with it [insert Sixers joke regarding "trust the process"], and it ended up a very promising swim.  Too many little things noticed for me to recall, but hopefully, just as in previous years, what happened before will happen again, and will be expanded upon.

Of the things I remember clearly, the left leg position requires more reeling in, the knee and ankle both consistently hyperextend normally, rather, overextend.  Focus on the ankle and knee results in the hip keeping a more proper position, the left joint more correct creating no burden on the right to compensate.

Otherwise, there was some success with freestyle, maintaining a relaxed back through superior shoulder position I have never before been able to swim with.  It is a much slower swim, not tweaked to maximize leverage, but the feeling was that the posture was much more "correct."

I'll have to play with dosages and such over the coming week.

Progress, the first time this summer, really.  At last!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Superpower Blown Away

I think what I am dealing with right now, while making me miserable, is kind of interesting.

I used to have superhuman lungs, and they served me well back when I played trumpet.  Anyways, with my innards twisted how they were, I believe my diaphragm was higher than most people, with leverage.

There is a little plastic gizmo doctors use to measure lung strength.  You blow into it, and a meter is pushed away from you, down a cone, which gives a measurement based on how far your "blow" makes it go.  I could always, even when sick, make a loud click noise with the gizmo, my lungs able to exert such force as to make the meter slam against the end of the gizmo.  I had surprised more than one doctor with this ability.

Side note - this is one of the things that made it hard for me to believe anything was "wrong" with me, teenage years onward, because it was a difference I was proud of and embraced, because I was "better" than most in this area.

I think my recent changes that lead to the seizing of back muscles (for a week now, quite painful to move sometimes) greatly reduced the leverage my diaphragm had with my lungs in the previous (though objectively wrong) position.  I think my innards dropped a bit relative to my ribs, similar to how my stomach had dropped (and expanded, instantly, to my cosmetic dismay) with previous adjustments.

The result now is I am very inexperienced with dealing with this chest cold.  I am used to very powerful lungs, even with sick.  I need to rethink everything regarding how I always handled illnesses.  What always worked for me doesn't anymore.

The moral of this change, becoming mortal sucks, or can't suck, in this instance, with respect to lung power, I mean . . .