Sunday, 2 September 2012

89. Sporty stuff - the challenges and limitations

There are a number of posts that I have been meaning to write recently.  This one is about sport.

When I was a kid, I lived on a bike, dangled from trees, swung on ropes, ran like the wind and hid like Harry Potter in his Invisibility Cloak.  As a teenager I hit balls with bats and sticks, threw them into nets, chucked balls and discs and ran like the wind.  There was majorettes, swimming, rounders, cycling and hockey.  I loved competing and being outside exercising.  As a grown woman I had discovered big kites, cycling, snowboarding and sea kayak paddling.  I have always been involved in sport, whether participating personally or team supporting someone else.

Three years ago my LD Flap surgery stopped me in my tracks and left me very frustrated.  For those who have been through the same surgery or are considering it, my journey has been particularly hard, probably because I am an active woman and the limitations, long-term and short-term have been noticed more than someone less active. I thought it would be useful to list all the sporty things that I feel that I can now do, what I have tried and what I have pondered about.

Awesome!! I had to develop a method to get up on my toe edge as heel edge standing from sitting demands too much from my arms, shoulders and pectoral muscles.  The falling bit freaked me out too, with outstretched save my face arm landing jolts my whole chest and I get horrible spasms for hourse after.  The key is....don't fall over.  Yeah! don't snowboard much but I will come back to it again.  I guess skiing would be far easier and a defo yes!

Mountain Biking
Yes!! I now regularly go out riding cross-country and downhill mountain biking.  The suspension in the forks of bikes now means I don't have to absorb all the bumps.  Push ups for downhill can get a little sketchy on steep parts and I need help so I always ride in a group.  It's so good for you, I can get aerobic exercise, toning and fresh air all in one.  I adore my bikes!  The body armour is comfortable too, which I was concerned about but I wear IXS 2012 women specific armour and it's big but robust.  I have taken a few tumbles and just get minor bruises and I know that my precious boobs and scars are well protected when I fall.

Ummm...nope! Well, on a surfboard anyway.  I guess bodyboarding (spongeing) with fins would be okay as your legs do the paddling work instead of your arms.  I had to sell my surfboard (which my hub bought as my wedding present) after I realised there was no way I could board surf anymore.  The strong paddle required to get into a wave is something I just can't do now.  My arm pull is weak and I would spend most of my time frustrated at not being able to catch a wave.  I have lost all desire to be in the water with my lack of swimming stroke strength these days.  Gonna stay safe on land!

Kite Flying
Weeee!! I can still fly a 6ft kite no troubles, but for smaller periods of time.  I have flown a 3.2m kite with a harness to take the pull out of the gusts and this is fun. So glad I can still get excited about the windy stuff!

Yippee! I was surprised that a few lengths of breast stroke didn't bother me.  Before my nerve cutting surgery to reduce the muscle spasms, I couldn't have swum anywhere for very long.  Backstroke and front stroke are not ideal and hurt, crunch my crunchy shoulders and I stick to breast stroke or lie on my back and just kick.  It's nice to be able to still swim, I have to say.

Sea Kayak Paddling
Yes! Although I now go with my husband in a double kayak, I am fit and strong enough to take short paddles a few hours at a time, in a single kayak, in less choppy conditions.  This activity always needs lots of planning for tides, wind and general weather conditions anyway but extra planning for locations and routes is now needed to make it safe to cope with.  Too many accidents come to paddlers who don't take time to plan or carry all the right equipment with them.  Stay safe kids!

Maybe? Not tried but I imagine it could be okay now that my twinges and spasms are gone.  It's a very strong arm movement kind of sport, those which I actually avoid if I can and I have never had the urge to play tennis, badminton would be much better with lighter rackets and objects to hit.

Yes, although I have some restriction on full stretches, this is the best thing I can do for my body to keep it supple and flexible.  Piltates is stronger but also advised by my physio.

Hmm...I haven't attended any but most classes cater for your limitations and it would be good to have a chat before you join to make sure that they can help you get the most out of sessions.