We’ve teamed up with Funkita and MySwimPro Ambassador Sara Lark (@saraswimsthesea) to share her story of what it’s like to go through the ups and downs of recovering from 5 shoulder injuries and returning back to the pool.

What I’ve Learned

Over the course of recovering from an injury, I feel that many of us can go through a rollercoaster of positive and negative emotions. It’s not easy. Here’s a look into my journey and what I’ve learned going through it…

“I’ve been a swimmer most of my life and believe it or not, I’ve endured five shoulder surgeries.”

I am currently 1 year out from my last surgery and happily back in the pool swimming fairly regularly – it wasn’t always that way though. 

I’ve learned that patience and adaptation is the most important part of training after an injury. You’re going to get stuck… a lot. Stuck in the same routine, same drills, same warm up and same training. For me, it is hard to stay motivated when I’m doing the same motions every single day. So throughout my journey I’ve had to re-evaluate my technique and start over with a clean slate every couple weeks. Here’s a quick background on my swimming history.

Longer distances still cause a lot of discomfort, so I focus on paying attention to my body and modifying my workouts to something that works, whether it’s fine-tuning my rotation, speed work, or stroke technique. Outside of the pool, I spend a lot of time working on thera-band exercises, isometric exercises, and lifting weights.

“Building strength and working on my foundation is critical in getting back to my peak performance.”

My 2019 Training Plan

My 2019 competition schedule is booked and I’m currently training for:

  • USMS Masters Nationals, April 2019
  • Swim Around Key West, June 2019
  • Race For The Conch, July 2019
  • Plus a couple triathlons in my area

No matter what it is I am training for, the base to all my shoulder rehab has been shoulder stabilization and getting back to the basics in the pool.

“About three years ago I started training with workouts in the MySwimPro app, which have allowed me to train very specifically around where I am in my recovery, and gave me options to pick what I want to focus on whether it is distance, speed or stroke.”

My typical week of training involves; speed training in the morning in the pool 5 days a week. I bike, run and/or lift 6 days a week and take one whole rest day a week to recover. This month, I plan on increasing my distance, to begin training for Swim Around Key West and The English Channel Swim.

What I’ve Achieved

2018 was an amazing year for my recovery and swimming with MySwimPro has helped me fully prepare for a year of competing.

“Now, I am able to reach times on my 50, 100, 200 and 400 SCY freestyle events that I haven’t ever reached before.”

I absolutely cannot wait to get my health back to 100% this year and to see how I perform in my events.

My Advice for Injured Swimmers

My advice is to do your best to keep an even keel over the course of your recovery through both the highs and the lows. And as hard as it is to wait, time is truly your best friend. And lastly, always listen to your body.  

Ready to take on 2019? Kick off your training with a new Funkita swimsuit and MySwimPro ELITE.

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