Nothing Shakespearean about this one. Just a quick catch-up. I thought it was about time to do some stock-taking.
My rehabilitation after the two herniated discs in my neck is paying off. My strength is slowly but surely coming back in my right arm. Still a long way to go before I can play Popeye the Sailor Man again, but I’m getting there. Back in December, I could barely do one push-up standing against the wall. Now, I can do five on my toes again. Half-lump, half-human. Way to go, sailor!
Clearly, I’m getting better by the day. I have no tangible pain or symptoms any more. My life is pretty much back to normal and I have resumed both of my jobs. With no employer to cover my sick leave, I’m sure it’s a relief for my bank advisor. But most importantly, it’s a relief for me – and my mental health! Martin is less likely to kill me and I feel useful and inspired again, especially by all the people I meet through Formel76. Win-win!
While I haven’t resumed my running yet, I’m now back swimming with both my clubs. My first day back at our Saturday practice was pure ecstasy, being able to join my squad mates again. At first, it was kind of saddening to realize how much my neck condition had set me back, but quickly it became a new source of motivation. I know I can take back my place in the lane. I’ve just got to roll up my sleeves and get to work. The sooner, the better!
Besides regular club practice, I’ve started to work again with my trainer Susanne as well as with my friend Lærke. Susanne has walked me through very interesting breathing sessions that have made me discover I actually feel a pinch of fear while I’m holding my breath at the bottom of the pool. I’m a control freak (surprise!) so my brain hates it when I force my body to relax in totally immersed conditions. I may never become the new Stig Severinsen, but I clearly have a lot to gain from challenging my brain and taking my breathing to the next level. Especially in a stroke like butterfly. My friend Lærke, who’s a physiotherapist, has been helping me lately with my neck position and my overall body position/coordination, trying to find a way so I can swim without hurting my neck. It’s quite a challenge, but Lærke and Susanne are there to fuel my motivation. I’ve been called many things in my life, and now I can add “gracious whale” and “walrus” to the list thanks to them. They really know how to give you a pep talk! 😂❤
Last but not least – winter swimming! This year, I already started my cold acclimation training in December. The weather conditions are quite mild, so the water temperatures have remained stable around 3 °C and I’ve been able to swim up to a few hundred meters under the supervision of my most fantastic team. This year, we’ve had a few additions to our squad with Lotte, Uffe and Jack making their Dip&Freeze debut in the open water. While Uffe plays the ukulele for us once his fingers have thawed, Jack as a true Pirate has taken it all the way from a quick dip to a short swim within a few weeks only. It’s so inspiring to see everyone open up and bloom. For me, our bounds create a very special energy, that lifts me up and makes me reach for the impossible. We become this all new organism that pulls me forward. Alone, I feel strong. Together, I am invincible.
Now, I’m waiting for my next follow-up visit with my spine surgeon on 31th January to get a new MRI-scan of my neck. Everything feels really good, so hopefully I’ll get the green light to carry on with my plans. If not, I might have to revise my goals for 2017, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now, I’m going to spend the next couple of weeks planning the details of my season plan with my team and – most of all – my partner Martin. I’m in the best hands.
My vision stands clearer thanks to Eva and I have the support of the most dedicated people. No matter the outcome of my MRI-scan, I know I’m in for a great season!
Bring it on, 2017! 😎
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