Swimming!

The pool is open!!!!

My gym has been open since June-ish but I have not been. I wrote about our home gym a few months ago. Honestly, it’s been great. We have a treadmill, kettlebells, weights, a weight bench and recently got a free elliptical. It was definitely a good option and I didn’t feel like I needed to go into the gym. I definitely did not feel comfortable going back!

I did feel bummed about not using the gym, which I’ve paid for. As each month of the pandemic went by and I wasn’t going to the gym, it became more and more of a bummer. I was not the type of person who paid for a gym membership and did not use it. 🙁

But most of all, I missed swimming. That was the one thing I could not “do at home.” Swimming is my favorite. It makes me happy. It relaxes me. It’s a good workout. It’s my “me” time. It’s meditative. I’ve been pretty depressed the last few months. And when I see people posting pictures from other parts of the country with their pools open (or outdoor pools open) I was definitely envious.

Well, my mom told me recently that the YMCA pool in Seattle opened. So I called my gym and the POOL WAS OPEN! Finally!!!! This was the one thing I was willing to do. I still don’t feel comfortable going into the gym right now, maybe in the future (we will see) but swimming was the one thing I was baffled that it wasn’t open. The chlorine in the pool kills everything. It made more sense to open pools BEFORE gyms, to me anyways.

So how does it work? You call and make a reservation. There are 3 lanes in my pool and one person per lane. You get a 30-45 minute slot (depending on if there are people waiting for the next slot). My slot was at 9:15 but I got there at 9 so I got 45 minutes.

I guess they close the gym every 2 hours to clean, so that’s good!

I took some vacation time Friday morning. Fridays are pretty slow for me at work. I got there at 9am and checked in (touch free, on your phone). You can use the lockers and the showers. I got in the pool. There were two other little old ladies in the pool with me, one swimming laps, one doing aerobics.

I was so nervous! I had some anxiety for a few days. First, I haven’t been swimming since March. The longest I’ve ever NOT swam in 15+ years. (I took like 10 weeks off postpartum and that’s it!). I was nervous about going to the gym, I was nervous about covid, I was worried I’d be out of shape, that swimming would be hard. I was also SUPER excited.

Swimming was amazing. It felt awesome to be back in the pool! Seriously, it was like I’d never stopped. I swam laps and I definitely felt fatigued. My arms, especially, felt tired and my muscles burned. But I felt really good. My time was basically what it was months ago.

I swam 40 minutes and did 1 mile.

I thought I would be sore the next day, but I wasn’t. I went again on Sunday–my old usual routine. It was so great! I saw my swimming buddy there. This older gentleman that I used to chat with before. We had the same Sunday swim routine. He seemed excited to see an old friendly face 🙂 and said he was glad I was safe and ok. We chatted for a bit, catching up. He said he’d missed the pool so much (me too!) and he’d been doing mostly Peloton this summer. I did not see the other two older ladies I usually saw on Sundays. I hope they are ok.

It was so good to be back in the pool!

Mystery Solved?

I wanted to give a few updates on some stuff. First, my hips and knees. If you’ve read my blog for a long time you know I’ve had knee issues FOR-EVER. Runner’s knee. IT band issues. Some mysterious knee issue two years ago that ended up needing cortisone shots. You name it, I’ve had it. I’ve had X-rays, multiple MRIs, seen specialists….

I’ve been in PT for YEARS. I’ve tried strengthening my body, I’ve tried yoga. I’ve tried stretching, using knee straps for when I run (which helped a lot).

The cortisone shots helped a lot for my right knee. The first shot lasted almost 4 months. I got a second shot in January, right before we went to Hawaii. Knock on wood, it’s still going. So 10 months later…Cross your fingers it keeps working.

So the knee issues have been very discouraging. It’s meant that my running is limited to twice a week. I am a SLOW runner now. I take a lot of walking breaks. I no longer try and up my mileage. I still to less than 4 miles. My usual route is a little over 3 miles. Sometimes I try hills or stairs or speedwork.

Recently my left knee starting feeling the same way my right knee used to hurt. UGH. So much frustration. I’ve also had Achilles pain. I’ve had issues with plantar fasciitis a few times.

Now the hip. Since I had Logan I’ve been having a lot of right hip pain. PT has only helped so much. This year has been particularly hard. The last few months have been really bad. The last month or two I’ve been going to the chiropractor almost weekly. Finally, I put in the heel lift I used to use in my shoe (not sure why I stopped using it??) and the relief was INSTANT. A lightbulb went off in my head. How dumb. Something SO SIMPLE. My pain level for my hip went from a 8 to a 4, immediately.

My doctor ordered X-rays of my hip and a special X-ray to measure leg length — apparently my left leg is 6 millimeters longer. Not sure if that’s super significant but apparently it’s just enough to throw everything off.

It’s been almost 3 weeks now and I haven’t been to the chiropractor, so that’s good. The next step: I went and got fitted for orthotic inserts. I put them in and again, the relief was instant. Not only did my hip no longer hurt AT ALL but my left knee no longer hurt either!!

I am really happy with the orthotics so far. I don’t know that it is a magical fix and it took about a week to get used to them but I am pretty happy with it fixing my aches and pains. So if you are experiencing anything like I have, considering getting your doctor to measure the length of your legs–or get orthotics.

Another quick update I wanted to give was about the Keto Diet, again. Since stopping keto, I’ve noticed that a few health issues I was having last year on the diet have disappeared. If you are doing keto or low carb and having issues, maybe this will help you.

One issue I was having was stomach issues. TMI, skip if you want, but I was having really bad stomach issues–the opposite of what I’ve always had. (A side effect of antidepressants is constipation, FYI.) I realized after some deductions that my horrible stomach issues were all the sugar-free products I was using on Keto! DUH. Clearly my body does not like sugar free chemicals.

The other issue I was having was hair loss. Like a lot. Like I would take a shower, wash my hair and clumps would fall out. It was so disturbing I was going to talk to my doctor. Well, that problem has also disappeared!

Anyways, hope some of this might help my readers!