“You may not be able to swim competitively for a while, maybe never again ”. One year ago, these words came from my orthopedic after I was injured during my last high school swim season. Two injured shoulders. It would take a lot of hard work and therapy to get them functioning again. It took medicated patches hooked up to electrodes, deep tissue massages, exercises and cortisone injections. All of these combined over the span of six months finally healed my shoulders. The recuperation and retraining was not easy.
To an outsider looking in, it seems pretty basic. Jump in the pool and swim a little. Make sure your shoulders do not hurt. Push it, but not enough to re-injure yourself. But it was not that simple. Starting out, I could only swim fifteen minutes twice a week. That was much different than my normal two hours, five times a week. Knowing I was not up to my normal standard helped motivate me to get better.
Swimming through the pain was and is the only way to get better. The injuries I have will never go away. I have to deal with them on a daily basis both in and outside of the pool. Pain cannot be an excuse to sit out during a challenging workout. I need to suck it up and push through it. I do this through will power. It takes a lot of mental focus and determination to keep swimming to the point where my shoulders are numb in pain. But I do it. I do it to achieve my goal of being a successful college swimmer.
If I am to achieve anything in life, whether it be finishing a practice or being a successful person, I need to put my all into it. I now know if I set my mind on something, not make excuses for myself and try my best, I can accomplish anything. This is what I believe.