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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 52 of 365

It's not like I don't like exercising. I used to walk 2-3 miles each and every day and even did some 5K walks. But as my body got worse, the pain got more intense, and the walking became too much for me. And even now with the exercise bike, the knee pain is pretty bad.

But for the last couple days, I've done an exercise that is my favorite of favorites. Something I've done since I was a little kid, something I wish I could do every day of my life. Something that makes my body not hurt so much when I'm doing it. Something I look forward to, not dread (like I do those stupid shoulder exercises).

That would be swimming.

I learned to swim when I was about six or so in the backyard pool. My recollection was that my mom was teaching me to swim and I couldn't get the hang of it. But one day I said a bad word and got my mouth washed out with soap. And the next day I could swim. (Whether that really happened or not I don't know, but that's what I remember.)

I spent most of my childhood years going to school in California, where junior highs and high schools had swimming pools. So every spring in PE we had swimming. Once I started in junior high I realized how much I didn't know about swimming. And about swimming underwater, and diving from the side, and diving from the board. I learned a lot then, but I don't use most of it now.

I'm not big on going underwater anymore. Don't know why, I just don't like it. I spend my time kicking, and floating, and treading water, and swimming above water, and doing water exercises. Just keep moving in the water has become my motto.

But the best part is the joints. The buoyancy I have in the water and the lack of pressure on the knees/back/shoulders/elbows/hips/ankles is amazing. It's probably as close as I'll ever come to being pain free when moving.

We've often thought of putting in a pool, but being in Idaho it wouldn't get year round use. My husband has also talked about a jacuzzi, but I couldn't exactly swim and get myself moving around too much in a jacuzzi. If I could get over my embarrassment of being in a swimsuit I probably would drive the 15 miles to the YMCA to swim, but I'm not sure that will happen. I've wished we lived in Arizona where I could step out every single day from my back door into a swimming pool. Don't know if that'll ever happen, either.

The hotel we're staying in right now has a nice big pool, and being the off season, the place is empty and I can swim and swim and swim. Thank goodness for the pool, because usually when we come to McCall in the summers we swim in the lake.

That's something I'm certain won't be happening anytime soon.

And a physical therapy/exercise update: 6 for 6.