Things have been moving along with my swimming lessons. Last week I was frustrated because the class basically had us holding onto the side and blowing bubbles, and practicing floating. Not exactly intermediate at all. I was so annoyed with the thing, that I wound up speaking up this week and saying that I wanted to be in with the advanced students because I wanted to learn new things instead of doing the same things we learned in Water Comfort. Turns out, everyone wound up working on the exact same thing anyway, which was fine. I didn’t want to be with the advanced students because they were advanced, I just wanted to learn something new.
So, we each are given a kick board, and the teacher is trying to show us how to do rotary breathing. This is so freaking hard. SO HARD. I mean, it isn’t as though I expect to get it on the first try, and actually, everyone in the class struggled with it. No one got it on the first try, and all of us are going to need to practice it on our own. That part was fine. Class went fine, and we went home and went about our day.
The next morning, Master and me got up and we went to the rec center early in the morning, so we could get our workout in for the day. We got in the water, and started doing our laps. About five minutes in, I just swam over to Master and started crying about how I couldn’t do this anymore, I couldn’t learn to swim and we should just pull me out of the remaining two classes in the current block I’m in.
Master held me and he told me that I was doing great and he had no idea where this was coming from.
I’m just frustrated. When I first started to learn to swim, I wore ear plugs, goggles, and a swim cap. Depending on where I have to go afterwards, I sometimes still wear a swim cap, and I always wear goggles. I have a septum piercing though, and so nose clips don’t work for me, and I always wind up getting tons of water in my sinuses. Water in my sinuses has lead to incredibly awful sinus infections and sinus headaches, neither of which I find to be a grand old time. Yeah, I know that when you’re learning how to swim you’re going to get a ton of water in your nose while you learn to breathe. I completely get that, but the side effect of sinus headaches (which are absolutely crippling, and so bad that I can’t lift my head off a pillow or get to the bathroom without help), or sinus infections (which require antibiotics, which means I’ll feel like I’m spinning for about a week) aren’t really fun to me.
So, Master decided to get me a swim mask. That way, my nose would be covered – my eyes would be covered, and nothing could go wrong. Right? Wrong. I mean, it’s true. I’m not getting water in my sinuses now, which means I’m not getting any sinus headaches, which means our nights have been filled with the fun things we like to do, rather than the bullcrap of being unable to do anything. But now, I feel like I can’t breathe at all. You obviously can’t breathe out of your nose with a mask on, and I can breathe out of my mouth, but for whatever reason, I always feel like I am struggling to get a breath of air. I am not a mouth-breather generally, and it goes beyond just not being used to the mask. We have practiced with it a few times, but having my nose blocked off is just making me feel like I’m suffocating.
Master has gone out of his way to sign me up for two swim classes. He bought me ear plugs, we tried three different kinds of nose plugs. He bought me goggles and a mask, and I just feel like I’m stuck at this point which I cannot get past. Learning to breathe while you swim is so difficult, and because I’m busy working on that I have not gotten any real workouts in at all lately. I’m out of breath, but my muscles aren’t getting the exercise I am trying to give them. I’m beyond frustrated and annoyed.
It’s not that I want to give up because the going gets tough. I mean, I don’t mind it taking me a while to learn skills. But, not being able to avoid the sinus headaches/sinus infections in this stage is really, really getting me down. I want to give up because, to me, having crippling headaches is not worth the minor benefit of being able to workout without having as many injuries as “land” sports give me.
So, Master took me home, and he decided we were going to go to the Zoo. He thought it would cheer me up. Even Apple Pig got to come.
It was ninety degrees though, so we did not wind up staying long. But, it was nice to get out, see the elephants, zebras, and giraffes, and eat lunch. When we got home, Master let me use my kitty pool. That little pool actually got a lot more use than usual this weekend, because it turns out one of the pumps at the rec center (for the lap pool) died, so we wound up having to find more creative ways to cool off. True, the pump breaking only affected one pool, but it was so crowded that outside of our lessons we really didn’t go down there much.
So, do I want to give up on swimming? Hell YES. Is Master going to let me? Hell NO. I just have to remember that all the sinus ickiness and the lack of getting in a workout while we’re at the pool is just temporary. Once I get this rotary breathing thing down, I should experience less of those crippling headaches, and I should be able to do laps again like I used to. In the mean time though, I’ll just have to do my workouts before I go to the pool.
Just a minor bump in the road.