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Treading water: How I’m putting a new spin on an old hobby


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banner image for "No Tears for Sarcoidosis" by Charlton Harris

Motivation comes at the strangest times.

For the past few weeks, something has been bugging me. At first, I thought I was just feeling down due to the cold weather and early nightfall. But the more I tried to ignore what I was feeling, the more “blah” I felt.

I paused to wonder what was missing from my life. I immediately started thinking about how pulmonary sarcoidosis and the numerous spontaneous pneumothoraces I’ve endured have changed my life. I felt like I was about to lose all of the physical progress I’d made over the years. I figured I’d better get out of this mental trap before I become paralyzed with guilt and self-pity. Sometimes this mental circus is a never-ending sideshow.

An ‘aha’ moment

A few mornings ago, while I was having my tea, it hit me: I definitely needed a change. A different environment or routine would be a welcome distraction from my doldrums.

It dawned on me that I hadn’t swum in over five years. Before my first lung collapse, I used to swim three or four times a week — so often that I’d ordered a waterproof MP3 player. There’s nothing better than listening to Miles Davis or old-school rap while swimming underwater.

But all of that ended five years ago. Because of my multiple lung collapses, I had to give up the water. Or so I thought.

An uncle of mine suggested I check out the facility he went to for water rehabilitation. I reached out to them and scheduled an appointment. We set a date, and the staff told me my initial consultation would be an assessment of my strength and physical abilities. I felt I’d made the right decision in reaching out to them. Finally, I thought, I was going to get back in the water.

On the day of my appointment, I arrived early and was excited to meet the staff. I toured the facility and did the required assessments. Once we finished, I mentioned that sometimes I require supplemental oxygen when doing physical exercises. I could tell I’d be the first client with that requirement, but they understood and it didn’t seem to complicate their program.

While completing some paperwork, I was asked why I’d chosen this facility. I explained that my uncle had participated in their water rehab program and loved it. I also said that, in my experience, the fastest way to get a body in shape is to swim. Swimming works your entire body. That said, I told them I wasn’t interested in swimming laps or swimming underwater. My overall goal is simply to tread water.

If I can tread water, I can work my entire body. I can build up my lung function, my cardiovascular system, and my stamina, all of which add a feather to my cap of independence. Sometimes in life, you have to tread water before you can dive in.

Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

The post Treading water: How I’m putting a new spin on an old hobby appeared first on Sarcoidosis News.

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