Monday, August 29, 2016

It Truly is Step by Step

Hi everyone,

It's hard to believe that this is my first post to this blog since the first days of January 2015.  So much has, inevitably, happened since then, and it's my intention to use this post as an update.

But first, let's recap why this blog was started...
In short, having been through a number of health issues, it was to chronicle my progress as I Battled Back to full fitness.  You can read the full version here.

Challenge announcement...
On April 4th 2014 I announced that the Battling Back challenge would involve swimming the equivalent of a marathon.  You can read the full announcement here.

Bicep injury and eventual postponement
Very early in my swim training I sustained what I initially thought was a strain of my left bicep.  But it didn't stop me, despite what others, including my unofficial coach, told me.  Eventually though, having come to terms with the fact that the injury was being made far worse with every stroke, I made the decision to postpone the challenge and attempt to rehab what I then believed to be a tear to the muscle.  You can read the full announcement here.  

So what has happened since then?
The biggest thing of note is that more than 2 years after the postponement, I am yet to get back into the pool.  No, I didn't seek the suggested medical advice for a very long time, but I did try and immobilize the arm as much as possible.  While I'm right handed, complete immobilization proved to be impossible.  But I did and still do try.

I've had general health issues, including severe anemia (caused by a vitamin B-12 deficiency), which has resulted in significant fatigue.  While I've not been swimming, I tried other workouts, but many of those were painful, due to the arm injury.  Indeed every day tasks were and sometimes still are painful.

To that end, knowing that as stubborn as I am, I could not go on without medical  attention, I mentioned it to my doctor.  After he poked, prodded and pulled his diagnosis came as somewhat of a surprise; severe tendonitis.  Immediately he referred me to orthopedics, who in turn, without seeing me, referred me through to physical therapy.  I await that initial appointment on September 12.

Why and what now?
The timing of this post comes at the beginning of my personal year.  I celebrated my birthday last Friday and as such have been reflecting on a lot of things...

Yes, it's over 2 years since I sustained the injury.  Yes, during that time I came to realize that my swimming days were over.  But I've never lost sight of the ethos of the challenge I set myself.

I don't mind admitting that I've put some of the weight back on that I lost during the training.  Given the injury, I'm likely in a worse state physically than I was as I began the training.  But today marks a renewal of the determination I showed then.

Yes, I will be and indeed am already in pain before my next workout, which I'll do soon after this post is published.  But what I am and will go through is nothing compared to what some of those closest to me are going through.  I will BATTLE BACK.

In time, I will announce a new charity challenge; taking into account any and all physicians advice and my own capabilities.  Will it be on land or in the water?  Only time will tell.  But I assure you that it WILL happen, and I'll once again use this blog to document my progress; step by step.

Thank you.