I swam at swim practice last night.
It hurt like hell, I was horribly out of shape, my strokes were completely out of balance, I am not adjusted to LCM, and it was the best time I have had in months. I did a total of 2000 LCM, with breaks at almost every wall. Of that, 1600 of it was swim, with long-blade fins, 300 kick with long-blade fins, and 100 BR kick with no fins.
I have not been to practice at all (or had any real exercise) since April 16, and before that it had been since the end of January since I had swum in earnest, instead of kicking. Sure, there was a period in March when I was doing a little swimming here and there, but never more than about 1000 yards.
Did I mention how great it was? SO great. I looked at my arm in the morning and saw that it looked completely healed, and then I was buoyed along all day at the thought of being in the water again. When I got there, I was scared out of my mind, and let me tell you: nothing says, "Welcome back, Jerky!" like seeing the pool formatted for LCM for the first time.
Even with the big fins, and my ebullience at being in the water, I had more than a few "WHERE IS THE WALL?" -s.
I did some freestyle, a good bit of breaststroke, and some backstroke. The BR was easiest of all, since it is an underhand stroke, and I have more mobility there, but even so, I could see that during the power phase of the pull (which, believe me, I was doing gently, not powerfully), my right hand was near the surface (as normal) while my left was a good 8 inches lower. That's OK: I'll get that back. Freestyle was tough: I had to really work to get my left elbow high and around. And backstroke was maybe in between, although I know my hand was entering the water at between a 1 o'clock and 2 o'clock position. Maybe this is a good thing: I usually tend to overreach. But it was hard to keep the arm in the right position during recovery, as it was so much easier to recover wide. I am stiff today, and I slept like a baby last night. Isn't that great?
But here is the really random part: Guess who was at swim practice? You're right! My shoulder surgeon! No I am not making this up, and it was not some kind of pain+euphoria-induced hallucination. He is a triathlete (and he swims with a torn rotator cuff...) and had been talking about coming to our team's practice. Last night was his first time. How weird is that? Because we only have a couple (50 m) lanes, he was even in my lane.
It is not very often that you can ask your lane mate, "This pain is good, right? It's beating out the scar tissue?" and have him say "Yes, it is excellent therapy," and know that he is not yanking your chain.