Friday, November 30, 2012

Swimming, my new/old exercise

I'm hesitant to even write this, because every time I start writing about exercising, I seem to soon find some excuse to stop.  However, I have started swimming a few times in the week and unlike running, I'm actually enjoying it.  My wife love's running, I on the other hand, abhor it.  I feel slow and weak and especially in the morning when I was doing it this summer, I just felt uncoordinated.  I have never really enjoyed running, but with Parkinson's, I actually am moving toward dislike and possibly hatred.

However, swimming in the morning when I've been getting up around 5:00 am and am in the pool at my gym by 5:30 or earlier is amazing.  There are a couple of reasons for this.

  1. Peace and tranquility - If you have never swum in a pool in the morning when it is still dark outside and the stars are out and you can only hear the strokes and kicks of the other people in the pool, you have never felt a more relaxing workout environment.  I will admit helps that I live in San Diego and I can swim outside year-round.
  2. The feeling of weightlessness - As someone who struggles in the morning to just walk to the bathroom without shuffling, when I get in the pool, even if my meds haven't fully taken effect, I don't feel the PD. It is freeing and my body just feels easier to manipulate. 
  3. I am actually not a bad swimmer.  I am definitely not in shape, but one of the sports I did well at as a kid was swimming.  The fact that my stroke form is pretty good and when I start a swim, I don't feel slow, helps me enjoy it more.  I'll admit it, one of the reasons I don't like running is because I'm slow.  I've always been a slow runner and I don't see that changing anytime soon; but, I am not a slow swimmer and in the past week, I've already seen progress.
Because of all this, I'm hoping it sticks.  My wife is already on me to sign up for a race that she'll be doing in the fall (a 2.4 mile swim), but she uses races to motivate her.  She paid the money and is damn well going to finish it.  That is not my motivator.  I'm actually still searching for it (other than the obvious family, health, slowing of progression, etc).  However, I'm hoping these enjoyable parts of swimming will point me to my motivation faster or will in themselves be it.

What motivates you and what are you doing to get moving?