Temporary Sewing Room

This afternoon, I set up a temporary sewing space in our dining room.  Since it's going to be at least a week before I'm back into my regular space, I decided to bite the bullet and go hunting for thing things I need.

I'm sure I'll make a million trips up and down the stairs before all is said and done because I've given myself only the most basic of supplies to start off.  We don't use this table unless people come over, and so it won't inconvenience us much...except for the mess, that is.  The downstairs is such a mess, I figure, why not mess up the upstairs too?  Why should it feel left out?  

My basement sewing room has no windows, and so I love the natural light streaming in. I have it set up this way so that I can see if Smitty comes to the glass door.  The glass door is off to the left outside the frame.  I'm trying to teach him to use his kitty door.  He has the going-out part figured out, but I want to make sure he knows how to get back in too.  We've been leaving the glass door ajar for him, but it's getting cooler, and we won't be able to do that much longer.

But to get back to my sewing space, I have a sewing table set up downstairs where my sewing machine sits. I do my cutting and other miscellaneous work on our ping pong table.  I had sheets of plastic cut to protect the surface of the ping pong table quite some time ago, and so I set one of those up on the dining room table to protect it from scratches and dings.  Also, I have a piece of non-skid shelf liner under the sewing machine to keep it from slipping around.  I haven't actually tried sewing here yet, so we'll just have to see how it goes.

This morning, I literally awakened with excuses in my head about why I couldn't, shouldn't, wouldn't, didn't want to honor my D-E Day commitment to return to lap swimming today.  Each day I've committed to exercise since pronouncing October 1st as D-E Day, I've gone through this same dialog in my head.  Each time I have exercised despite my private protestations.  Today was no exception.

Actually, I'm glad I went.  It wasn't the terrible ordeal I expected it to be.  My goal is to return to my most recent swimming fitness level.  That means I will swim for 30 minutes without stopping, which for me is a distance of about 1,500 meters.  I do freestyle all the way.  It's a relaxed pace, and when I'm in shape, I actually enjoy the rhythm and the solitude of it.  Today, I was nowhere near that goal.  Not only am I out of shape, but I need to be careful of my old injuries.

In 2003 and 2004 I had surgeries on both shoulders.  I had serious calcification in both joints from overuse.  My shoulders were extremely painful both before and after the surgeries.  Swim competitively nearly your whole life, and that's what happens.  Think about the wear and tear on your shoulder joints when you swivel your arms around at the shoulders seven or eight trillion times, give or take a trillion or so.  The joints were worn out and needed some maintenance which they got in spades.

Then in 2006 I had surgery on my neck.  My best and favorite stroke in competition was backstroke.  So think about what it looks like when a backstroker comes off the starting block.

The swimmer explodes backwards, whipping her head quickly back.  Do that a hundred million times in your life, and you'll give yourself whiplash...which is exactly what happened to me.  That required a cervical fusion at the C4-5 and C5-6 level.  It took a long time to recover from that injury.  My neck seems good as new most of the time, although I don't have full range of motion, and I never will.  I only notice it when I'm trying to look straight up, and I can no longer put my chin to my chest.  

So all of that to say that my body is about used up from swimming, and I need to return impossibly slowly if I want to avoid re-injuring myself.  I still love swimming, and I would be very sad if I couldn't do it as a way to stay in shape.  I'm wearing these little fins called Zoomers that look for all the world like little frog feet.
They help strengthen my knees, but they also help me to get my body on a higher plane in the water, and that's easier on my shoulders and neck.  It has been recommended that I swim with a mask and snorkel so that I'm not turning my head to breathe.  I'm here to say that no lap swimmer wants to do that if it can be avoided.  For now, I'm trying it without.

You can see that I'm approaching this return to swimming with great caution and some trepidation.  For all the excuses that I'm making to try to avoid it, I honestly want to get back to it.  Slowly, slowly, slowly.  That has to be my watchword, and I'll just have to see how it goes with time.

One thing I like about the pool where I swim is that it has a large jacuzzi tub.  I can get in the warm jacuzzi before I swim, which helps warm me up and loosen my joints.  Then afterward, I can get in again for the warm water therapy.  I like to stretch while I'm in the warm water too.

That's probably way more than you wanted to know about my quest to return to lap-swimming, but there you go.  And now I'm off to attempt sewing.  It's a day filled with excitement, let me tell you.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

I'm impressed...and I'm so glad you have stuck to it! Swimming is such a good way to get exercise.

Hey...my sewing is in the basement too....and I brought up a small table and sewed in the living room this summer. I did return it downstairs when that project was finished. I love sewing in a room with windows too.


Diane Wild said...

You are an amazing woman. Our bodies are like antique machines. Clean them up, give them a squirt of oil and walla...good as new. They won't go as fast as the new models but they get the job done.

WoolenSails said...

I wish we lived closer, then we could go together. I love to swim and we did go to a spa, but Bill could never get in a lane before he went to work, so he quit and he is my driver, errr. I do water walking, I wear a waist float and ones on my feet to keep me up and then I wear hand gloves for resistant and do that for about a half hour, then I swim to move my back muscles more I do love the jacuzzi, so nice on sore muscles.


BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Wow....I can barely make it to the mailbox...

You can always go shopping for new supplies.....any old excuse.

evelyn said...

Oh my goodness, all that talk of exercise is wearing me out. LOL. Best of luck getting back in the swimming groove. Happy sewing.

Kate said...

YOur temporary sewing space looks good. It is a pain to drag stuff up, but it's so nice to be able to work on something. (I had to relocate this summer when the upstairs air went out).

Congrats on sticking with your excercise plan. After your listing of your old injuries, I think I'm glad that Drama Teen decided to quit competitive swimming. She still does laps when possible, but she's not swimming every day like she was.

Loretta said...

What a feat...my granddaughter just got back into her routine after being out with injury, so I can see why you are taking it slow. Great job, but be careful!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

You might end up loving the dining room too much! It does have nice light.

Teresa in Music City said...

Actually it was not too much... I am really interested in how you are working toward getting healthier and in better shape. I am in the same position - needing to begin an exercise regime - and I need to be reminded of some of the things that should be considered before I hurt myself :*) I also have to begin choosing to eat better. Actually the eating better part is the hardest part because I hate to cook :*D But I digress. I would love for you to share the details of your journey, as I struggle to find the right path for mine :*)

Dana Gaffney said...

I'm so glad you went, but now I'm a little worried about your shoulders. Be careful! I would love to have your temporary space as my permanent space, the light is wonderful.

LethargicLass said...

What is beside the sewing machine, up on two little legs? I swim as well, but I mostly do breast stroke...

quiltzyx said...

Congrats on your return to the pool! I know what you mean about the injuries - being a former softball & volleyball player, my joints now tell me whenever the barometer changes. Ugh. Yesterday I decided that I wanted to make some chili, which led to me putting away a huge binfull of fabric into my cabinets, so I could put some of the crap that's been on the kitchen floor away, which meant I had to rearrange other stuff...end of that, my back is unhappy today. Plus, in the strangest of events, I was taking a break, sitting, with my arms crossed, and I coughed. Which somehow made my right shoulder dislocate & relocate. sigh. This is just not for sissies, is it?
But, I did get all that fabric put away & except that it is a bit extra spicy hot, the chili turned out nicely! Yay!

Oh, and the dining table set up looks so nice & bright! Enjoy your sewing machine too. :D