Staying afloat

It’s been a very long time since I last wrote anything here, with good reason though, I haven’t been slacking you know! Previous posts have covered the various injuries I have dealt with and my  decreased participation in running (and subsequent increase in water-based activity!). Around a year-and-a-half ago I found out I have arthritis and that I would need to undergo surgery to ease the pressure through my knee. In July I had this surgery, major surgery, to preserve my knee joint.

I didn’t exactly have a summer of fun, with the heatwave being spent hobbling between the sofa, bed and the bathroom, it was really, really tough. Ten weeks on crutches, visits to the physio, slow (very slow) strolls to the park and I was eventually able to get back in the pool. I was more nervous about getting in and out of the water, abandoning my crutches at the side and tackling the steps of the pool (it was fine). Initially I swam with a pull-buoy, using only my arms, as my leg muscles have wasted considerably (this is where the physio comes in).

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Now, at fifteen weeks post-surgery, I am mixing up my swim sessions, building in more lengths using my legs as well (I’m getting there!).

The week of my surgery I was incredibly frustrated by the fact the newly reinstated lake at Beckenham Place Park was opening (I had watched the progress of this project, eagerly awaiting the opening, which had been delayed from the initial date in May). Edward and Hector represented though, heading down to join in the ‘first swim’. A few weeks ago I felt ready to get in myself.

There have been a lot of teething problems with this lake, but the people running it are working hard to create a space where swimmers can enjoy this new resource. I got there early and had the lake all to myself, the sun came out as I swam and it was exactly what I hoped it would be. Now the challenge is deciding whether I think I can carry on through the winter! I’ve never had the opportunity before, so I feel I should take the plunge, but I’m also a little apprehensive! My winter swimming induction is booked for tomorrow morning, when I will decide whether or not to invest in the winter membership…

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