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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Recovery...

Posted Jun 21 2010 9:18am
"Yep, I think it would potentially be something you could train for..."

That was all my PT needed to say, really, to ignite the fire of desire and give me a spark of hope to grasp onto during a pretty bleak moment. It was my initial pre-surgery consultation with her. She knew how frustrating it was to be rendered motionless by doctor's orders. She knew I was an "athlete" and had that typical overdramatic mindset that I was literally "going to die" if I didn't exercise...I admitted my deepest darkest fears of retreating into a world of laziness, queso and vast amounts of belly goo.  I also confessed how difficult it was going to be sitting on the sidelines while everyone else was getting better, faster and stronger. Let's face it. The latter is the most frustrating part of any injury and subsequent recovery.

While in my meeting with her, we talked about races, people we knew in common, philosophies and everything else that goes with the territory. As an aside, she said she was about to start training for a four mile open water swim taking place in September. In an instant, my eyes became the size of saucers. The flash of light went off in front of us. She saw it and, probably in an effort to appease me, said, ""Yep, I think it would potentially be something you could train for..."

A FOUR MILE SWIM?? ME??  Just thinking about it makes me quiver with haunting memories of days gone by. Much of my childhood was spent wearing t-shirts and coverups over my bathing suits so people wouldn't look and point at me. I was the short, chunky tomboy with huge boobs. Awesome. I was the one who was doing cannonballs off the diving board because it got the most laughs (and the biggest splash, thank you very much). In high school and college, I never had a desire to do the Spring Break thing, although I'm pretty sure I would've rocked the wet t-shirt contest.  

I still find it almost impossible to imagine that I'm a triathlete because it involves swimming. It has taken me eight years of participating in this sport to become an average swimmer. It wasn't long ago that swimming one continuous lap in the pool was impossible. Before I knew it, I was swimming a 1/2 mile, then 1.2 miles, then amazingly 2.4 miles in strange and murky bodies of open water.  

And now, I'm gearing up to swim four continuous miles in Lake Austin to benefit Colin's Hope . It's going to take me between 2- 2 1/2 hours. FYI--that's a long damn time to be swimming. The Ironman swim distance is 2.4 miles and I never thought I could train up to that. I'm swimming 4-5 times a week now (yay! I can swim!!) and starting to get the flow and feel of the water once again. So, yeah, my PT was right when she said it was something I could potentially train for. I'm four weeks post-op and loving every minute. 

I was so caught up in my own eureka moment when she mentioned the swim that I didn't even notice the flash of light that came over her. She told me that I really needed to get in touch with the woman who dreamed up this charity swim. It would definitely be good for us to meet, regardless of if I did the swim. Turns out, the Event Director had hip labral tear surgery about two months before me with the same surgeon in Austin. Our stories are similar, our injuries are similar and our recovery involves testing our limits in any way we can. In fact, she concepted the charity swim while she was sitting on the couch in her CPM Machine. 

I couldn't have scripted this play better if I'd tried. Here is some of the cast of the GOT2SWIM4 TEAM benefiting Colin's Hope .  There will be about 30 swimmers and an amazing support crew of  kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders and medical personnel on hand Thursday, September 2nd.  Stay Tuned for updates from the water all summer long!

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