Wednesday, April 21, 2010
When I was a child I never learned to swim. My parents swam and as a family we fished all the time and even had a cabin at Elephant Butte. My mom always said I should learn to swim but I just didn't, until recently.
I am no longer a kid anywhere but in my heart. When I was young I had A Plastic Anemia and could not be around a lot of people and pools were out of the question because of germs. I got older, got used to A Plastic Anemia (body adjusted so it did not bother me), but I was way to involved in other activities to learn to swim. I attempted it a few times, half-heartedly, but I used the excuse that I could not float to keep moving on to other things.
When I got the bug to learn to swim (46 years old), most of my friends were supportive but they did not really think I would be able to. Apparently swimming is something youngsters learn with ease and adults give up on. I also had the same problem...I just DO NOT FLOAT!!! A new friend, who happens to be a great swimmer and a swimming and diving coach told me if I wanted to swim I would but it would take time and effort. That sounded like a challenge to me and I bit.
I used a support belt for 8 months because in the middle of the effort I had to have my knees rebuilt and I could not kick. My "coach" defended me every step of the way. She told people I could swim, even when I truly thought I could not. She taught me all of the things I needed to know to become a lifeguard and certified me as a lifeguard when I still was having massive problems kicking.
Silently she watched me as a threw away the support belt and took off towards the far end of the pool for the first time. She was at the end of the pool when I arrived and she was as excited as I was. The sky is the limit for me now and I am contemplating my first open water swim in my second triathlon outing. Of course my swim coach is going to go compete with me. Of course we will have a great time and we will finish and have great stories to remember and tell.
Never ever, never....give up on your hopes and dreams. Life is short and people are meant to live it and play, experiment, try, conquer, fail, try again. If you want something, go and get it. Determination will set you free! Thanks coach! By the way... I STILL CAN"T FLOAT!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Several years ago when I was having one medical problem and one surgery after another, my PA-C told me that I should try yoga. I was short, fat and ugly and the PA-C was short, thin, athletic (ironman) triathlete..so I figured I would try it.
I went to the local Wal-mart and bought a dvd that assured me it was "basic" yoga anyone could do. My daughter was almost as happy as I was. We could hardly wait to get home and begin our new transformation.
The following week I was back at the doctors office and I shared that I had gotten this dvd on yoga and that it was absolute Greek to my daughter and I. What was supposed to be easy was anything but. I was determined to do the stuff on the dvd and I was still so sore that movement was slow and avoided as much as possible. The PA-C laughed, told me I had got the wrong dvd and all was forgotten.
The health conference I just came back from had a large selection of books for sale and one of them caught my eye. A medical doctor wrote the book and it discusses all the things yoga can help with and possibly cure. Intrigued, I bought the book and although I have not finished reading it, I am definitely enjoying it and learning.
There are many different types of yoga and almost too many combinations of different types of yoga to remember. There are several things that are imperative regardless which type of yoga you decide to practice. Yes, yoga is a practice that takes time to learn and for results to be noticed. Yoga is helpful for many different reasons but the first thing to remember is that yoga is not a quick fix for anything!
I like to tell people to listen to their body and I think one of the best things about yoga is that it teaches you how to tune in to your body. Actually feeling yourself breath and move is something most of us never think about, much less feel. Body alignment is another important feature and correct alignment is often why a person is practicing yoga. Women have many problems with lower leg and knee alignment and thus suffer many injuries, aches and pains. Yoga allows the body to become better aligned with time.
I do not profess to know near enough about the subject to suggest to people what type of yoga they need to practice. I would like to suggest that you keep an open mind and look further into the subject. I truly believe we can learn and garner better health by practicing some of the principles taught in yoga. I am revisiting yoga and if I figure anything out that is earth-shattering I will share. In the mean time, try it for yourself. Find a good book, a class, or a good teacher and see what you can gain. Good luck and keep working hard.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Anyone that is athletic hates to be sidelined with an injury. Face it, most people that decide to become active overdo the first workout. The morning after the first workout, they are so sore and miserable that many quit and never try again, or at least not for a long time. Athletic people that have a poor workout often concentrate on having an even tougher workout the next time to make up for the previous poor performance.
Your body is your temple and it will take care of you. You just have to listen. We are so rushed and we want everything to go perfectly. Training takes time and patience and a schedule. If we have a run scheduled, we want to do it. If we are supposed to lift at the gym or run on a machine, we want to be able to do it. We hate to be interrupted by a nagging little pain or stiffness and so we ignore it. We get a twinge and we stretch more, back off a bit, pop a pill and try again tomorrow.
Often as time goes on we will change equipment we are using, try different shoes, different arch supports, physical therapy and other therapies all without stopping our exercise or deviating from our schedules.
Finally the body screams at us and we find that we can no longer continue to do what we want. We find that we are living in pain constantly and that we are not up to par physically or mentally. We are unhappy because our body is unhappy. We reach the breaking point and the body breaks and finally we have to listen.
Now we are repeating the many therapies we have tried and we are now rehabilitating because we refused to pay attention to what our body was telling us. Overuse of our body is just as bad as no use. Our bodies are very tough and it takes a long time to hurt them and an even longer time to fix them. Please STOP and LISTEN to your body.
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