Monday, December 9, 2013

Which Activity to Use for Exercise

"Go for a swim," they said. "It will help your MS," they said.

The week after my diagnosis, I knew I wanted to go to the Olympic sized pool and begin swimming, I mean, I have always heard that swimming was great for MS.

So I did what any other newly diagnosed patient would do, I went to Academy, got a fancy swimsuit that I will probably never wear again, and some earplugs and a funny cap. (Bonus: I have never worn the cap)

I built up the courage to finally go to the pool one afternoon, I begged my husband to come with me the first time, so he obliged. I might have pulled the MS card, but don't judge me!

Let me preface with a snip-it from my childhood:

I was about 6 years old when my parents put in the pool in our backyard. It was an above ground pool that was 4 feet deep - and it held so many memories from my childhood. From birthday parties, late night swims, and jumping from the roof of our house, swimming was in my blood.

I was never on the swim team, remember this post? But I was a fairly good swimmer, I even taught my friend Ashley how to swim.

So going to the Olympic sized pool in my community would be a breeze, right? W-R-O-N-G!

We arrived at the pool and there were several swimming lanes open, I looked at the life-guard and asked permission to use a lane...who does that?! He looked at me funny and said yes. My husband and I proceeded to slowly get acclimated with the cold water while watching 17 six year olds swimming laps and doing the butterfly right next to us.

So I took a deep breath, pushed off from the edge of the pool and began doing the freestyle - or rather, something that I thought was the freestyle. Before I was to the middle of my lane, I had drank about 6 gallons of water and stopped to breathe. ummm this was going to be a lot harder than I thought...

As I'm treading water, trying to get my head back to normal from so much water rushing through my nostrils, my sweet husband speeds past me. How the heck did he learn to swim? And why do I suck so bad?

I swam approximately 3.75 laps and proudly hopped out of the pool and went to put my clothes back on. I was dead, my arms were killing me and I had a headache because my nose thought it wanted a drink of water.

BUT, I went back, this time with my brother who is a pro swimmer. By pro swimmer, I mean that he wore a speedo on his High School swim team and was actually a pretty good swimmer. He made me swim with a board like the old ladies next to my lane. I actually did well and didn't take in so much water.

After a couple of months with the board I quickly realized that I'm not a swimmer. I didn't like it, plus it made my hair pretty dry from all of the chlorine. That's when I began walking and eventually running and have ever since enjoyed that activity for my exercise routine.

Whatever you do, swim, walk, under-water basket weaving, or yoga do it with everything you have and enjoy the results of feeling good and living a healthy life!