Tag Archives: swim

Out of the Bag: Swimsuits

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We just wrapped up Memorial Day weekend which means the time for beach trips and weekends spent at the pool has begun. But for women living with an ostomy, finding something you are comfortable in wearing at the pool can seem like a really hard task. In this video, I go through the options I have found for ostomates and share some of my experiences with each one. And below the video, you can see some pictures of the ostomy swimwear for women options I have found!

Here are pictures of each look, plus another one that I found since I uploaded this video!
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Giving up on goals

I don’t like not being able to accomplish the things that I set out to do. When I set my mind on something, I want to see it through, no matter what. I’m stubborn like that.

But I’m also realistic. I know that things aren’t always going to go the way that you planned. And more often than not you’re probably going to find that they don’t. There are also forces and powers in the universe that sometimes won’t allow you to do everything you plan on doing.

At the beginning of the year, I set out the goals I had for myself that I hoped to accomplish. They ranged from redesigning The Stolen Colon to making my bed EVERY day. I look through all of my goals and I feel happy with where I am at this point and how well I have followed through with them… except for one.

I wanted to complete my first full-sprint triathlon this year. But I have run into one issue after another in trying to accomplish this. The original plan was to do one in April or May, but my broken wrist held me up longer than I had hoped. Then obviously my surgery kept me out for June and July. So I thought, if I could start training even by the beginning of August, then I should be able to slip one in by the end of the season in October. But here we are, already half-way through August, and I haven’t been back on my bike or in the pool in months.

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My bike hasn’t moved from this spot in a while.

My doctor cleared me to get back to all of those things, but I just haven’t felt comfortable with it. Obviously, the bike is just going to have to wait because I don’t want to sit on it when I still have an open wound. And while the wound is doing much better, the idea of exposing it to chlorine and the germs in the water does not sit well with me.

I also know that even if I started training right now, it would be pushing myself too hard to get ready by October. It has been inevitable for a while but, but I am finally having to admit to myself that it’s not going to happen this year. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. In that post at the beginning of the year I said “This is the first year that I haven’t had to worry about what Crohn’s will throw at me or how it might hold me back from reaching my goals,” but I still feel like it has.
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Splishin’ and a splashin’

I have come to really love swimming. I think it’s my favorite sport. I really enjoy all of the parts of a triathlon, but swimming feels the best.

There is a certain freedom that comes with riding a bike. You see the world a little differently and feeling the wind in your face is pretty amazing. But also, when I’m on my bike, I tend to worry. I worry about cars on the road, about falling off, about swerving into the road. It’s not as relaxing (and I mean “relaxing” to mean something like mental peace, since exercise is obviously not meant to be relaxing) as I would like. I don’t have friends who ride or any good place near my house, so it’s a bit more of a hassle sometimes.

Running is a great way to release everything that’s stored up inside of you. Stress, frustration, even at times exhaustion, seem to get absorbed in running. But I think I get caught up in the numbers game. I want to run faster, I want to run farther. I get annoyed when I get a cramp or feel that I need to slow down. I wish I could run with more abandon, but I’m not there, yet.

But swimming… when I’m swimming, everything else just kind of fades away. I’m not thinking about anything else besides my strokes and breathing. I don’t worry so much about times and numbers and find that I move even faster and swim even farther without trying. I leave the pool after each swim feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the day.

But I’ve been landlocked since I broke my wrist back in December. Clearly I couldn’t swim with the cast on and even once I had that off, my doctor said to get back into the water slowly. It’s been a month now since I’ve had my cast taken off and I’m not going to lie, I’ve been nervous about swimming again. I was afraid it wouldn’t be as strong as I thought. Or that I might accidentally hit my wrist on the wall or on another swimmer as they pass by. Not to mention, swimming is the hardest sport to wake up for in the morning. Especially in the winter. You just think about how cold it is and that you’re going to have to undress, get wet and then drive home still wet. Trust me, that does not sound appealing at 5:00 in the morning.

But last week, for the first time in over two months, I got back in the water. And I can’t even tell you how good it felt. It made me realize truly how much I’ve missed it. But it also made me realize how far I have to go. Any swimmer will tell you, you have to consistently swim in order to keep up with it. Even just a short time out of the pool and you will notice a difference. I could feel it in every muscle in my body.

It’s going to take me some time to get back to where I was, but I’m not totally discouraged. When I first started swimming last summer, I could hardly make it one length of the pool (25 yards) without gasping for breath. Just a few weeks before my triathlon in October, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it the 250 yards for the swim portion. But suddenly, everything just clicked and I made it past the 250 yards up to around 2000 yards in just a few weeks. And now, I’m still able to make it those 250 yards, although my arms are tired and my wrist is still weak.

I’m taking it slow for right now, keeping it to about a half-hour swim. As I start to feel a little more comfortable with my wrist I’ll continue to increase the time and distance. But I’m so glad to be back in the water. Now I just can’t wait for warm weather!

On the move

I’m a little unsure of where I am going at the moment. But I’m moving again and I suppose that’s what matters most. I have said before that I like to have a goal in mind, especially for any sort of sport training. On my list for 2013 is the compete in a full-length sprint triathlon. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had planned to do another short sprint in March, just to get a little more experience, and then compete in a full race in April. But breaking my wrist has thrown a big wrench in my plans.

It has been 6 weeks since my half-marathon. The plan was to take a week break from any strenuous workouts and then slowly get back into the groove. I hadn’t been on my bike in a while and I was looking forward to picking it up again. And then my first ride comes around and I end up in a cast.

I’m slowly working my way back. My doctor said that he did not recommend running simply due to the risk of injury if you fall. Now, I’ve never fallen when running, nor do I anticipate that being an issue, but I also want to be careful. So I’ve been working with the stationary bike and elliptical, mostly. I did go for my first run today. Just a slow, easy pace, but it was excruciatingly humid today and my cast/arm got very hot. Not a good feeling. I think sticking to gym equipment is the smartest move for now. (Not to mention that I can’t wear any of my cold weather gear because it won’t fit over the cast.)

I have a doctor’s appointment next week and I’m praying the cast will come off and I will be able to start getting back to normal. I would love to be able to put a date down for my first triathlon this year so I know what I’m working towards, but there’s no way to know how quickly I’ll get full use of my wrist back. To further complicate things, I’ve decided to do another half-marathon over the summer (more on that soon!), which is going to change how I train. I’m thinking I may just have to push the triathlon back until late in the summer, so I can train now for the run and then switch over to tri-training.

The not-knowing is the hardest part. Once the cast comes off, I don’t want to get back on my bike too soon and cause further injury. I’m not sure exactly how swimming will affect the wrist if I’m still dealing with some pain. It also worries me to think that my wrist may never again be at 100%. It’s amazing how many issues can arise from just a simple cycling mishap. It’s going to be a long road, I know, but my goal is to keep up the pace and find that finish line.