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Testing the waters again. Gym?


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A month or so ago I asked if anyone was returning yet, and a few replied they were.
 

How’s that going? What specific activities do you feel safe doing there?

Numbers of in our area are way down, but it looks like it may be late March at the soonest before I can get the vaccine. 
 

I really need to go back. I need the weight machines, mostly. I am struggling to do strength training at home. No one respects my need for an uninterrupted chunk of time to do it and I hate being both interrupted and spectated upon. 

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I haven't gone back. I cancelled my membership last summer after months of not actually using it and seeing it was going to be a long while before I felt comfortable being there. 

I won't go back to my old gym as I wasn't pleased with how they handled this at all. I thought about a cheap membership to Planet Fitness after my second shot and assuming numbers continue to go down but I don't know that I want to mess with it as sign up and cancellation is a pain. They don't have as many free weights but they do have lots of space making it easy to stay away from people.

Working out at home saves me the drive time, which is nice but I miss the bigger weights. I miss the feeling of community with group classes, I didn't do those all the time but liked to from time to time. More than anything I miss working out with my friend, wed often get together for a Saturday lifting session and always had a blast.

So, I am continuing on at home for the foreseeable future. I  do need more weights at home and don't have the money or space for all I'd like to have but I am making do and have gotten back into a good groove lately.

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I’m struggling with home workouts too, but I’m not about to go back.

I saw a recent article about high rates coming from gyms, but didn’t pay much attention. I don’t like the gum in regular cold and flu season. Not sure if my area simply has extra gross people or what, but I usually spent all winter in all 3 gyms I’ve used putting more time into disinfecting surfaces than actually using them. (That May be a tiny exaggeration, but not by much.)

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10 minutes ago, Soror said:

 

I won't go back to my old gym as I wasn't pleased with how they handled this at all. I thought about a cheap membership to Planet Fitness after my second shot and assuming numbers continue to go down but I don't know that I want to mess with it as sign up and cancellation is a pain. They don't have as many free weights but they do have lots of space making it easy to stay away from people.

 

When I used Planet Fitness a few years ago I was able to sign up and cancel online.  It was very simple.  Well, I'm sure I signed up online...I can't remember for sure about canceling, but it was easy.  I did both twice.  

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I am so torn on this stuff this week.  Our states numbers are down in a huge way.   We were almost at 8k a day and this week were down in the 400s.   But now the numbers are going up again in the last 2 days.  Back up to 840 yesterday. 

We don't have any shots in our house yet. 

My kids are dancers and want to get back into the studio.  They have been virtual for almost a year.  

In our town the gyms have been open and the kids have all been in sports and having competitions.  There is a kids swim team that I would have put my younger ones back on.   I just can't bring myself to do it.  But the team is running and has lots of kids on it.  Maybe I am nuts, but I am struggling with the guilt of not putting my kids into in person activities that they want to while everyone around us is.   I feel so much guilt about it. 

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I swam 5 days a week on average, 6 days if I could. 

We have an elliptical and rowing machine, weights. We have played tennis/vollyeball/badminton as a family. We play soccer and field hockey.

I am grateful to be able to do that, but the pool is my happy place. I had to fight so much to learn to swim as an adult, battle my fears and it was something I loved so much. Something that gave me joy, I did for myself, part of self care.

I miss it more than I can say.

I swam one month in 2020 during the pandemic and I was so happy. I used to approach exercise like brushing my teeth habit and something to do instead of giving me pleasure. While I have found things I like, the simple pleasure and joy of swimming I have never been able to replicate.

The minute I get the first dose, guess where I will be. 

If there is one thing I have learned above all in the pandemic, the simple pleasure that is found in the day the day things we take so much for granted. 

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Honestly the gym seems like one of the very least safe places. Lots of heavy breathing by people trying to wear the least restrictive mask possible, hundreds of people going through there each day, etc. Plus most are there longer than a few minutes - many about an hour or more. so, you have crowds, heavy breathing, long periods of time, indoors, and likely people wearing the thinnest or least amount of mask possible. Is that risk worth a few weeks of going to the gym?

Look at it this way, a month from now you will get your vaccine (hopefully). That first dose will reduce your risk a lot. In the scheme of the rest of your life, is waiting one more month going to be a big deal?

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For those looking for the group aspect, the cameraderie, and the scheduled time so you get structure have you looked into livestream workouts on zoom or other platforms? I do my DDPY with www.transitioncoach.ca, and they have 18 classes a week, ranging from 6:30 am to 8pm. And that's just one group - just in DDPY there are half a dozen groups offering various live classes. Some are even free - two of the Transition Coach classes are free each week - the Wednesday 7pm fundamentals/beginner class and the Friday 5:30pm "burn" class. (eastern time). 

I would think other modalities have the same sort of options? It really is more fun to have a live class, with that encouragement, plus chatting via zoom after we are done, etc compared to just a video on youtube.  And I think maybe others in the family respect your time more if the workout is a live class, versus something you can pause or go back to later. 

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5 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Honestly the gym seems like one of the very least safe places. Lots of heavy breathing by people trying to wear the least restrictive mask possible, hundreds of people going through there each day, etc. Plus most are there longer than a few minutes - many about an hour or more. so, you have crowds, heavy breathing, long periods of time, indoors, and likely people wearing the thinnest or least amount of mask possible. Is that risk worth a few weeks of going to the gym?

Look at it this way, a month from now you will get your vaccine (hopefully). That first dose will reduce your risk a lot. In the scheme of the rest of your life, is waiting one more month going to be a big deal?

Pfft. No one is wearing a mask to the gym here. And honestly when I'm working hard I don't want to either, another strike against the gym. I can work as hard as I want at home, no mask!

 

10 minutes ago, Kassia said:

When I used Planet Fitness a few years ago I was able to sign up and cancel online.  It was very simple.  Well, I'm sure I signed up online...I can't remember for sure about canceling, but it was easy.  I did both twice.  

When I last had a membership you had to cancel in person or via certified letter.

 

1 minute ago, ktgrok said:

For those looking for the group aspect, the cameraderie, and the scheduled time so you get structure have you looked into livestream workouts on zoom or other platforms? I do my DDPY with www.transitioncoach.ca, and they have 18 classes a week, ranging from 6:30 am to 8pm. And that's just one group - just in DDPY there are half a dozen groups offering various live classes. Some are even free - two of the Transition Coach classes are free each week - the Wednesday 7pm fundamentals/beginner class and the Friday 5:30pm "burn" class. (eastern time). 

I would think other modalities have the same sort of options? It really is more fun to have a live class, with that encouragement, plus chatting via zoom after we are done, etc compared to just a video on youtube.  And I think maybe others in the family respect your time more if the workout is a live class, versus something you can pause or go back to later. 

Thank you for the rec. I'm not really interested in Zoom classes myself but am looking forward to meeting some friends outside for walking and such in the future. I'm thinking maybe next fall or so I'll feel comfortable with indoor classes, we'll see.I had to tell my dh to leave the room when I workout on the weekends, he didn't get it. It drives me crazy.

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i think i read that gyms have been a source of spread.  As a society we just really need to stop the spread/mutations as much as possible.  We need to limit our exposure as much as possible.  It sounds like you have options but unwilling family.  I hope you can get them on board. Just my two cents!

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I watched part of a press conference yesterday for my state. Apparently, gyms are the hotspots right now for Covid infections. It was specifically mentioned that the gyms were following protocols except that masking was not required while exercising. So, I would not be attending a gym where masking was not being done all of the time.

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I go to the gym a couple of times a week.   This is what they do-Masking in my state is required and they do enforce it.  

Our gyms are at reduce capacity and have every other machine off limits for social distancing.  

You wipe down the machines after use and the employees come wipe it down about every hour.

 Temps checks every visit and weekly paperwork on health.  They do have high capacity air cleaner running at all times.  A huge benefit to me is there is no gym smell.  
 

 

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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20 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

It is blowing my mind that people would not be masking at a gym.  

I lost my "pod" after one week because my friend decided to go back to cross fit. And they don't mask there, despite a mandate. 

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22 minutes ago, itsheresomewhere said:

I go to the gym a couple of times a week.   This is what they do-Masking in my state is required and they do enforce it.  

Our gyms are at reduce capacity and have every other machine off limits for social distancing.  

You wipe down the machines after use and the employees come wipe it down about every hour.

 Temps checks every visit and weekly paperwork on health.  They do have high capacity air cleaner running at all times.  A huge benefit to me is there is no gym smell.  
 

 

Thank you. My gym is the premier facility in my town, I would expect them to be following similar protocols. I will call them today and ask them specific questions about their covid precautions. 
 

I got a super low price guarantee pre-opening, during the construction phase.  If I cancel now I could not afford to rejoin. My membership is on freeze and I need to decide whether to unfreeze it for March. I can wait til April but just got some lab work back and the effects of my covid winter hibernation are all spelled out in bright red letters and numbers. Getting back to the weights and cutting the comfort foods will fix that, but I really can’t wait much longer to get serious about it. Things have come up in my family the last two months that have been extremely demanding on me, I’m coming to the light at the end of that tunnel but I honestly need the mental health benefit, too. 
 

@Dreamergalthe water is also my happy place but I’ll definitely be waiting post vaccine to use those parts of the facility. 

Edited by Seasider too
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4 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

Thank you. My gym is the premier facility in my town, I would expect them to be following similar protocols. I will call them today and ask them specific questions about their covid precautions. 
 

I got a super low price guarantee pre-opening, during the construction phase.  If I cancel now I could not afford to rejoin. My membership is on freeze and I need to decide whether to unfreeze it for March. I can wait til April but just got some lab work back and the effects of my covid winter hibernation and all spelled out in bright red letters and numbers. Getting back to the weights and cutting the comfort foods will fix that, but I really can’t wait much longer to get serious about it. Things have come up in my family the last two months that have been extremely demanding on me, I’m coming to the light at the end of that tunnel but I honestly need the mental health benefit, too. 
 

@Dreamergalthe water is also my happy place but I’ll definitely be waiting post vaccine to use those parts of the facility. 

I completely get that.  I started going back in January as I needed it.  

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My son lives in MA and has been going to the gym as long as they've been opened.  It's the only risky thing he's done because it's so important to him.  He is careful with masking, but he gets mad because he said SO many people are sloppy with their masks or don't comply with the rules.  

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I won’t be going back anytime soon. We’ve cobbled together enough weights, brought an old treadmill out of storage and bought a cheap spin bike. I’m doing Peloton and Beachbody workouts. It works best for me to workout before the kids wake up, or otherwise I get interrupted, but it’s working for now. 

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I want to go back.  I really really want to go back.  But our area has such low compliance with mandates, I just can't trust it to be safe and for me a vaccine is nowhere in sight yet.  I am hugely struggling to do workouts on my own at home.  It would be great in the short term for my psychical and mental health to go back but it would have too many potential long term negatives consequences if I bought germs home and made my family sick (or dead) that I am not willing to go there.  If I and my family were lower risk I may have made a difference decision.

DH and I are looking into getting each other bikes for our anniversary coming up and taking up bike riding together.  It doesn't help with weights, but it is something.

I am continuing to pay for my gym membership even when not using it because I want to support the business so it will still be there for me when the is all over and/or I can be vaccinated.

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The gym I attend closed and offered online workouts last spring.  Once the weather warmed up, we had Saturday workouts at a local park.  Since the gym re-opened everyone is required to a mask the entire time, even during the workout (I have no idea what the rationale is for not wearing a mask while working out).  Happily, our classes are small and there are usually only the same 4-6 people in the gym at a time.   I do not like working out at home; I need the push of my coach and friends and I love the camaraderie that we all have, so I am very happy we are open!    

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I have been going to the gym throughout the pandemic minus the 6 weeks they were shut down across the state.  I have a membership through work where I could go to most area gyms, but just moved and now there is only 1.  I go to group fitness classes.  I don't use the machines.  Some gyms are better than others.  In the group fitness classes, the gyms have markers on the floor at least 6ft apart.  Mostly people wear their masks until they are in their spots, then take them off.  Some leave them on.  I left mine on for months, but eventually stopped because no one else was wearing one during class.  I figure/hope we are far enough apart, everyone is facing the same direction, and classes do not involve high intensity and heavy breathing.  More yoga and pilates, but weight lifting as well.  Spray and wipe weights before and after class.  I guess I'm willing to take the risk.  The gym that I attend now takes temps on the way in but is absolutely horrible about masking.  They even have some high intensity group workouts on the gym floor (not in the group fitness room). 

We just moved to a 55+ community.  They have water aerobics at the outdoor pool and low intensity classes in the large theater.  Spots are 6ft apart or more.  Everyone is very good about distancing and masking.  Most take their masks off at the beginning of class and everyone puts them back on at the end of class.

I walk, bike, and swim on my own mostly, but really need some human interaction as well.

Edited by Sunshine State Sue
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I went back to the gym last summer. I had been diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s and was in physical therapy and hated it and then insurance wouldn’t pay for more sessions so I hired a personal trainer at the gym. I am now fully vaccinated, but I worked out 4-6 times a week at the gym for 8 or so months. 
I needed to go back to the gym for my mental and physical health. I couldn’t safely workout at home alone at first. My mental health has been low bc of my diagnosis and I needed to work against any decline mentally and physically. 
My gym takes everyone’s temps when they enter. Masks are required unless on a machine or on your spot for a class. They are constantly cleaning. I never felt unsafe. I don’t know if I was just fortunate? But my doctors believe covid was spreading in this metropolitan area for at least two months before it was on everyone’s radar. We live five miles from a major international airport with direct flights to China. Several of my doctors have told me that they are now testing patients for antibodies and finding a significant number of their patients have antibodies, most likely from their “flu like” illnesses in January and February. One of my doctors was going to test me this month for covid antibodies but then I was able to get vaccinated. 

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It looks like numbers worldwide are starting to kick back up slightly and in the US flatten out.  I hope that’s not a bad sign but I might wait a week or two?  On the other hand we are living basically normal life here so I feel kind of hypocritical telling anyone what’s sensible.  You don’t have any outdoor gym equipment nearby?  Although I guess it’s not the weather for it.

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I'm REALLY confused by the idea that it is safe to take off the mask while on the machine or in a group class. 

I mean, where does the breath that is exhaled go? If a person is on the treadmill, and breathing out with no mask, and exhaling virus, either is travels away from that area in the stream of air conditioning -or it somehow stays right by the treadmill, but then when that person gets off and the next one gets on, wouldn't there be virus floating in the air for them to inhale, maskless? 

And if a room is used for a group class, even if virus stays just near the mark that you are standing on, as you exhale, what about the next person to walk into the room for a class? They come stand on that mark where you were and now are inhaling what you were exhaling. 

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Everything is a risk. If you feel that for your health that strength training at the gym is less risky than catching covid, then you need to figure out a way to do it safely to keep the risk minimal. For example - you could go when they first open (my doctor friends do this), or make sure your gym is following the guidelines. 

Personally, I won't go back, ever. We used the refund from our cruise vacation to purchase home gym machines (a Tonal and Nordic Track). I love it! I recognize that working out at home does not work for everyone or for everyone's budget, but I am thrilled with our machines. 

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I’d probably skip the classes, unless outside.  And really look at things like mask wearing and ventilation:  https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.latimes.com/science/story/2021-02-25/coronavirus-spreads-readily-in-gyms-after-when-people-dont-wear-masks%3f_amp=true

And there was another spin class that had 68 people become ill, in maybe Oct?  IIRC.  Here’s an article on that, and the safety precautions they were using: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/10/10/spin-classes-lead-to-twenty-one-people-with-the-covid-19-coronavirus-from-one-gym/amp/ (I don’t know why the link says 21 people, and the article title says over 60, but the Oct case in Canada is well documented with over 60.  This particular article is from Forbes.)

I, personally, won’t be going to the gym but I do understand the need.  Hoping there’s a way to do it safely!

If you’re getting vaccinated in March, can you hang on just a bit longer?  

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Just a minute to reply - thanks so much for all your input. Learned a few things yesterday. 
 

Due to the nature of one component of my job, I am actually eligible now, surprise surprise! So I registered. Hopefully it will be my turn some time before March ends. 
 

Stopped into the gym yesterday, they have policies but I’m not sure I think they are strict enough. [eta I did not go to work out, just to talk to someone about a billing issue and observe a little bit of people movement and mask wearing, about 15 minutes in there.]
 

My follow up appointment is scheduled Tuesday. Depending on what my doc wants to do about the two things wacko on my labs, I’ll decide when to go back. At the moment I am leaning towards April.  With my mask. 
 

Thanks again for all you’ve shared!
 

 

Edited by Seasider too
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I had to go into Planet Fitness in person to cancel.   When I stopped by (in January) they were back open and supposedly following strict guidelines for number of people, etc.  People were wearing masks but I thought it was pretty crowded.   We don't have any plans to go back.  Ds, dh and I were all going while dd was at TKD 3 or 4 times a week.   It's a shame because while I do yoga with my oldest daughter, dh and ds haven't really found anything to replace it especially since this winter has been so cold and snowy.

If it weren't almost Spring, I'd be pushing dh about buying some workout equipment.   I plan to start walking more and strongly encouraging ds to do so as well, as soon as the snow goes away. 

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12 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Yikes! 
 

I think it’s crazy there’s no mask requirement. And I would definitely not take a group class right now, even with everyone masked. I really just want to get back to the weight equipment for now. But as I said upthread I will wait a while longer. 

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On 2/26/2021 at 9:20 AM, Seasider too said:

@Dreamergalthe water is also my happy place but I’ll definitely be waiting post vaccine to use those parts of the facility. 

Oddly, the pool might be the safest part of the gym. The high humidity doesn’t let the virus live in the air for long. (Not saying that I would go, but if I had to choose, I would feel safer in a pool than in a group exercise class rom.) I know someone who continues to use the pool, but doesn’t use the locker room. They wear their suit there and go back home to change. 

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On 2/26/2021 at 8:21 AM, Dreamergal said:

 

I swam one month in 2020 during the pandemic and I was so happy. I used to approach exercise like brushing my teeth habit and something to do instead of giving me pleasure. While I have found things I like, the simple pleasure and joy of swimming I have never been able to replicate

This is me. I was swimming 6 days a week. It was hard for me to wake up early. It was hard to get in that cold water. Our pool is outside. But once I get in, I’m so, so happy. As a reward for finishing Chemo, my middle daughter bought me a micro tablet with underwater headphones so I can listen to my favorite music while I swim. 
 

Unfortunately, I fell on wet tile, a month ago and fractured my tibia and tore my meniscus and ACL. The specialist doesn’t think it can heal without surgery, but he is also concerned with operating on me because of my history of blood clots, so he asked me to wait 5 more weeks, then if I still have pain, he will operate with full conviction that there is no other option. 
 

It has been depressing for me to go a month without swimming. But I went ahead and reserved lane space for March. I’m going to start with just walking in the shallow end. Yes, I’ve become the old lady walking in the shallow end! LOL

If that goes well, my coach said I can try a little gentle free style because done correctly, it isn’t worse than walking. I have a PT appointment next week, so I’ll get more details, but all of that is to say that there is something so magical about swimming. I like walking too, but nothing has ever felt quite the same as being able to swim.  

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43 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

This is me. I was swimming 6 days a week. It was hard for me to wake up early. It was hard to get in that cold water. Our pool is outside. But once I get in, I’m so, so happy. As a reward for finishing Chemo, my middle daughter bought me a micro tablet with underwater headphones so I can listen to my favorite music while I swim. 
 

Unfortunately, I fell on wet tile, a month ago and fractured my tibia and tore my meniscus and ACL. The specialist doesn’t think it can heal without surgery, but he is also concerned with operating on me because of my history of blood clots, so he asked me to wait 5 more weeks, then if I still have pain, he will operate with full conviction that there is no other option. 
 

It has been depressing for me to go a month without swimming. But I went ahead and reserved lane space for March. I’m going to start with just walking in the shallow end. Yes, I’ve become the old lady walking in the shallow end! LOL

If that goes well, my coach said I can try a little gentle free style because done correctly, it isn’t worse than walking. I have a PT appointment next week, so I’ll get more details, but all of that is to say that there is something so magical about swimming. I like walking too, but nothing has ever felt quite the same as being able to swim.  

I am so sorry to hear about your injury.  I hope that you find joy getting back into the pool.

I agree with you that swimming is magical.  I had swim lessons as a kid when I was really young, but wasn't very good.  Then the 6 weeks of dreadful swimming in high school with the PE issued swimsuits that were really old and we gave back after every class. EWWWW.   But after college I somehow fell into swimming.  I checked out a book and would read it and then practice that page over and over.  Eventually I found my way to a Masters swim team that was wonderful and started competing.  I haven't swam for real in at least 16 years.  I miss how relaxing it was.  I have had a bunch of trouble with water in my ear.

Edited by mommyoffive
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7 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

This is me. I was swimming 6 days a week. It was hard for me to wake up early. It was hard to get in that cold water. Our pool is outside. But once I get in, I’m so, so happy. As a reward for finishing Chemo, my middle daughter bought me a micro tablet with underwater headphones so I can listen to my favorite music while I swim. 
 

Unfortunately, I fell on wet tile, a month ago and fractured my tibia and tore my meniscus and ACL. The specialist doesn’t think it can heal without surgery, but he is also concerned with operating on me because of my history of blood clots, so he asked me to wait 5 more weeks, then if I still have pain, he will operate with full conviction that there is no other option. 

Happy to find a kindred spirit. Sorry about the fracture. 

7 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

 


 

It has been depressing for me to go a month without swimming. But I went ahead and reserved lane space for March. I’m going to start with just walking in the shallow end. Yes, I’ve become the old lady walking in the shallow end! LOL

I spent years in the kiddie pool. When my gym was at full capacity, we have 3 pools, a huge half olympic size pool, kiddie pool and a wave pool I think it was called where the water moved constantly. There were a lot of ladies walking in it. Pool walking is a great exercise and there are great benefits as you well know. So go for it ! I am impressed that you are walking with your injury. I hope it helps.

7 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

If that goes well, my coach said I can try a little gentle free style because done correctly, it isn’t worse than walking. I have a PT appointment next week, so I’ll get more details, but all of that is to say that there is something so magical about swimming. I like walking too, but nothing has ever felt quite the same as being able to swim.  

You speak my language. Swimming is indeed magical. I always believed it was so glamorous and people had to look like you were ready to star in Baywatch to even attempt swimming. But it is such a great exercise especially the older we get. My knees hurt when I jump rope, I have zero grace or co-ordination. I am clumsy on land, but put me in a pool and even I can be graceful though I have zero form or technique. 

Good luck on your swimming and in future recovery.

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38 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

 

Unfortunately, I fell on wet tile, a month ago and fractured my tibia and tore my meniscus and ACL. The specialist doesn’t think it can heal without surgery, but he is also concerned with operating on me because of my history of blood clots, so he asked me to wait 5 more weeks, then if I still have pain, he will operate with full conviction that there is no other option. 
 

It has been depressing for me to go a month without swimming.

I'm so sorry about your injury.  That sounds awful.  

I completely understand how depressing it is to be unable to do an activity you love.  I'm a runner and have been through that many times.  It makes things like injuries/illnesses so much harder.  Hang in there and I hope you heal completely and soon.

 

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20 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

I found my way to a Master's swim team

I swim masters on Monday, Friday and Saturday and book lane space on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. I am nowhere near competition level, unless we are only doing 25s. LOL

My 14 year old really wants me to compete so she can say, “Do you even know what event you have next? When was the last time you ate? Are you drinking your water?”

 

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On 2/26/2021 at 11:23 AM, ktgrok said:

Look at it this way, a month from now you will get your vaccine (hopefully). That first dose will reduce your risk a lot. In the scheme of the rest of your life, is waiting one more month going to be a big deal?

I think I'm looking at more like 3-6 months for me to get a vaccine and beyond that for my child. We quit the gym in September and aren't considering rejoining any time soon. We have hand weights and walking shoes and that's about it.

Likely homeschool groups will be a higher priority to resume in person for us than the gym.

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