Today I did something that I’ve been putting off for nearly 3 years. I went swimming – properly swimming – as in doing lengths up and down the pool.
3 years ago, I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. What that means is that once they’ve removed your breast tissue, they detach the pectoral muscle from your chest and place it over a silicon implant. So the muscle is now over your breast rather than under your breast. Great aesthetically, but really weird from an anatomical point of view and your body has to get used to it.
I used to be a great swimmer and don’t get me wrong, since the op, I’ve been in the pool with my daughter, I’ve swum in the sea. But that’s not proper swimming, it’s not pounding up and down the pool actually getting ‘sweaty’. I believed that my muscle wouldn’t be able to cope with it.
I think in all honesty, I had a fear that if I tried it and I couldn’t do it, then that was worse because swimming was something I loved and I couldn’t imagine not being able to do it. I mentioned this in passing to my husband and he pointed out that I’d been swimming lots of times, of course it wouldn’t be a problem. And then I read a book, it was about a girl whose release was swimming.
My husband is about to go away again, and for me exercise is how I stay sane. The last trip, I didn’t look after myself, did very little what I would call proper exercise & I suffered. I’m determined that this won’t happen again, so over the break I made my mind up to find something to keep me sane.
My thought process has been this:
I’m useless at exercise unless I do it first thing, and the TV HITT classes I did do have got boring
If my daughter has to do extra time at school she’d far rather do breakfast club than after-school club
The local pool has just re-opened and has lane swimming from 7-9 every morning. So I can drop off Harriet at 8, be at the pool by 810 and then be back at my desk by 9 ready for the day
It’s a no brainer!
So today I started. It was a short swim to test it out and guess what, it felt great! And not only that, I was able to do about the same pace as before the op, managing 40 lengths in 25 mins. I suspect I’m going to feel it tomorrow, but it’s proved to me there is no issue at all. All that worrying was for nothing. And I’m going to go for it! This is how I’m going to stay sane over the next few months!
So what have I learnt?
It’s amazing what you can tell yourself you you can’t do. We need to be positive and as Nike says ‘Just do it’!
It’s really hard work working for yourself, but there is no reason why I can’t succeed if I work through the difficult bits. It’s about overcoming those little demons that we are barely conscious are there.
Remembering that we love what we do and that we’re good at it otherwise we wouldn’t be where we are. And when it’s really difficult, just try it – you never know what might come around!