Bonner's Blog: Adult Swim
Dec. 3, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - I have recently gained a heightened respect for swimmers. In the first two weeks following my injury, I was very limited in what I could do to stay in shape. I started by using the arm bike to get a sweat going. Unfortunately, with the arm bike, my arms would tire out before I could get my heart rate substantially high. My trainer and I then invented a medicine ball circuit that seemed a bit more effective. This circuit involved several abdominal and shoulder exercises. Mixed within these exercises, I would work on my "good" leg with one-legged squats, one-legged box step-ups, and one-legged wall sits. By moving quickly from one exercise to the next, I could successfully fatigue my entire body while resting my injured leg.
This past weekend, the doctor gave me the green light to begin pool workouts. I have done pool workouts in the past, but I have never had to actually swim laps. My experience with swimming laps has been quite humbling, and has given me a tremendous amount of respect for swimmers.
Looking at my body one would assume that I would be quite the swimmer. I have incredibly large feet (which would probably make flippers unnecessary for deep sea diving), I have a long body, and I am incredibly powerful (at least in my mind). I swam my first few laps without thinking much about my speed or technique; I just wanted to get a great cardiovascular workout. However, I slowly started to notice the folks in the lanes surrounding me. Immediately my competitive nature kicked in. To my right was a very unassuming graying older man. To my left was an older woman who was swimming continuous laps with relative ease. Her strokes were effortless as she glided through the water. No way should either of these "competitors" be able to keep pace with me. This is what I thought at least.
I was on my last lap, so I decided to wait to start at the same time as my neighbors. I went all out. I was kicking and pumping my arms faster than I ever have in my life. I felt like I was moving, but by the time I reached the other end realized I was only fighting myself. As soon as I touched the wall on the way back, I jumped out of the pool with a Michael Phelps-esque celebration. My heart was pounding out of my chest, because I had been swimming so hard. However, I quickly realized that I edged out my competitors by the slightest of margins (whether they realized we were even competing or not). I probably gave ten times the effort for one-tenth the results.
My trainer enjoyed watching my struggles. I asked him for potential advice as to why I move so slowly in the water. He first suggested my faulty technique, and then pointed out the amount of drag I was carrying (my baggy shorts, my floppy hair, my dense body, etc.). I then announced that I would be sporting a Speedo and swim cap for my remaining pool sessions at Boyden. He denounced this idea, stating that the drag/ lack of technique only makes my workout harder, and therefore more effective. I am not training to be an Olympic swimmer; I am only training to build up my toughness and endurance for my return to the basketball court.
Needless to say, it is very frustrating to be injured at this point in my career. I understand that the injury is beyond my control. However, I am going to make certain that I do everything I can to get back on the court as fast as possible, and in the best shape I can be in.
Song of the Day: "Forget Me Not" by Tacks, The Boy Disaster
Cheers, Luke Bonner 31
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