Last March, a year ago, I was swimming well. Everytime I got in the pool, which was frequently, I felt stronger and faster than the time before. Our gym started a competition for most visits in a month, and I started going to the pool almost everyday. I didn't win (my husband Dennis won, probably by a couple of days). In June, my gym started a competition for amount of laps swam in three months and I knew this was a reachable goal for me. I don't have to go fast, but I could put quite a few laps.
Then one day, it all came crashing down. I was spending more time in the pool, squeezing it in before work and other commitments, but rushing through post swim time in the locker time, aiming to shower and dress quickly. My hair was often wet for hours at work. I didn't pay attention to fine details, like the care of my feet and I ended up with horribly dry skin that cracked and I had a nasty infection that the ER docs said that needed to heal quickly or I'd have to get an amputation.
The heavy dosage of antibiotics caused my kidneys to shut down, and a chain reaction insued that involved blood pressure meds that I was allergic to and couldn't breathe or made me swell. Even after all the drama was over (and after several trips to the ER, the most I've ever had in my life), it was depressing to realize that I had to start all over again with my swim workout goals. I was never Dara Torres, the 41 year old Olympian, to begin with, but it was something to me to swim a mile in 45 minutes without stopping.
I don't go to the pool as often and I take care of myself much better. I don't push myself too hard, but I am working with what I've got. And today,for the first time in months, I swam my mile under an hour. After it was over, I realized I could have kept on going, but the muscles were getting weary. That's okay. I take a look at my feet. They are normal. Actually, better than that. They are perfect. I've come a long way and I'm not going back.