Swimming: A New and Fun Sport

A lot of my mental energy recently has been focused around my injured shoulder (cool exercise discussion forthcoming!), but I’ve also been considering how to incorporate swimming into my workouts. I love swimming as a opposite to running–it’s much more upper-body intense, and doesn’t have all the impact. Seems like a deadly duo.

I haven’t really been a swimmer since I was a pre-asthmatic child, when I could do pretty much any stroke other than the breathing coordination-requiring freestyle, as well as all sorts of diving-esque things that make my lungs seize up in horror to even think of now. The new apartment has a nice little pool just long enough for short laps, though, and the water’s been wonderfully warm both times I’ve been in. The hours are lousy, alas: 10:00 to 20:00. No early morning swim.

As part of a wedding gift card, I even bought myself a swimsuit that’s both adorable and stays put when I swim.

My last one… didn’t. It tended to catch water in the chest area. And be buffeted around a bit. Eep.

Skill-wise, I’m limited to a doggie paddle now, although it’s not a bad doggie paddle. Actually, I’m pretty limited by the shoulder, too, but I’m still hoping that’s temporary. I can’t do any broad arm sweeps as a result of the cuff, which rules out a whole lot of the more official (and efficient!) strokes. I’ve got Swimming for Total Fitness on hold at the library so’s I can relearn what I’ve lost.

The pool’s often full of kids (making laps impossible), but I’m hoping now to leverage my new work-from-home Wednesdays to take a lunch break to swim. Unfortunately, I have a doctor’s appointment this Wednesday to check up on the numbness, which will eat into my swim time by my need to, you know, work. It’ll be a get-in-where-you-fit-in event this week, I guess.

Physical Therapy: Consultation and Fun Treatments

My first physical therapy session yesterday was pretty cool, albeit painful.

The PT put my shoulder–which was already hurting from busing/backpacking through town–through the usual contortions (*tear*). By the end, she would raise my arm in such a way, push lightly on it, look at my face, and go, “Hmm, I’m not going to put you through that.” Her conclusion was the same as the sports doc: decently likely it’s a small cuff tear.

What followed was far more interesting than my usual pain, though. First, I got a therapeutic ultrasound. And the gel was warm! (Quite the novelty in my experience.) I didn’t feel any warmth or hum from the ultrasound, and it didn’t provide immediate relief, but I’m doing better today. Not sure what all to ascribe that to, because this has definitely become a day-by-day injury in terms of pain levels.

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Weekly Linkage: A Microaggression, a Game, and Some Dancin’

This week’s internet cruising:

And, by one of my favorite choreographers:

Shoulder Update: Steroid Shot!

I got in to see the rather awesome (medical bill pending) sports doctor at my doctor’s office yesterday, and got my (*tear*) first ever cortisone shot.

She ran me through a painful battery of tests (painful because they were designed to find my limits) and determined that, yup, I did a great job of aggravating and maybe worsening my old injury. May have been a small rotator cuff tear back then or now, but the result now is a loosey-goosey shoulder joint (very weak stabilizing muscles) combined with some super-tight (ow) tendons.

Given that I can’t take NSAIDs, she recommended the steroid shot. I also start physical therapy next week.

The shot itself actually wasn’t bad, despite her descriptions of going past this tendon and around that muscle, etc. (My mother used to get them in her foot, so I’d heard of the agony involved. Apparently, feet are just painful places to do anything.) She and the nurse were laughing their asses off my plaintive “will it hurt?”, but it was, in fact, much less painful than giving blood. Besides, they did a cold spray to numb the spot, which was really cool.

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Too Human Was… Too Human

Sorry, I really couldn’t come up with anything wittier than that.

I finished Too Human about a month ago at this point, I think.

Let’s celebrate that for a moment. Given my propensity for games like Sims, GalCiv 2, and Civ 4, getting to finish a game is always a miracle.

Guy totally warned me about some of the game’s disappointments, so I went in with eyes open.

It was… alright. Kinda fun early on. Really frustrating later. I want more, but not more of what was in Too Human. (I’m restarting Fallout 3–which I never finished–as the balm for my ache.)

A couple of nights ago, Greg and I enumerated about 15 flaws in the game. Here are some of the highlights, ordered by their importance to me. I played through with the Berserker class, which is something of a glass cannon: very fast, but not a huge damage dealer and pretty fragile.
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