Falling Out of Love With Swimming?

I love summer because it is when I connect most often with friends for outdoor swims. This year I haven’t been doing much of that. My best swimming buddy moved out of province a couple of years ago, and others in the core group have also moved a bit further out of town so it’s harder to get together. The weather hasn’t cooperated either.

On top of that, I have been dealing with neck and shoulder pain that I just can’t seem to fix.

The result has been that since club practices ended in June, I have barely been in the water.

Falling out of love with swimming couldn’t have come at a worse time for someone who has committed to swimming 15 km in August to raise funds for cancer research. I have met my modes goal, but if you would like to donate, please follow this link.

I am trying to get myself excited by visiting new venues and swimming with new friends. I went to the new River House in Ottawa, which has 25M lanes in addition to a large “pool” area that is very popular with teens and young adults.

A swimming area on a river. In the foreground you can saw two swim lanes. There are floating ”islands” in the centre, and people sitting on the dock beyond that. In the background, you can see the river with boats near the dock and trees on the far shore,r

I went back to my old standby, the Pond, which is once again relatively quiet as the teens and young adults have migrated to the River House. There were only swimmers and families with young kids on my last visit.

Three people are standing in greenish water while one person swims in the distance. The pond is surrounded by trees.

I joined several people from my swim club at the home of one of our members.

Four swimmers with colourful floats swim across a small lake surrounded by trees.

I even did a (for me) epic bike-swim-bike across town. This has been on my bucket list of longer bike rides to achieve this summer. I managed a little over 36 km of cycling plus a 1500M swim.

A wet Diane, wearing a white swim cap and goggles, stands in the Ottawa river. You can see trees on the Quebec shoreline in the distance. Ignore the time showing in the photo! Strava’s GPS works well for tracking distance but is terrible for times. It actually took me almost an hour.

I’m still struggling. My physiotherapist has instructed me to have shorter but more frequent swims to build up strength without irritating the sore spots, she has also given me new exercises to strengthen and relax my back muscles. I hate strength exercises! The ones for mobility are ok, but boring.

Still, I’m going to make an effort to do them, because it’s clear that I am not going to get back my love of swimming if I don’t fix what is making it not fun. I have 6 km to complete on that cancer fundraiser challenge, and registration for my fall Master’s Swimming program is now open. Wish me luck!

Diane Harper lives and swims in Ottawa.

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