Fitness through the Years

I have always been flexible and athletic, but after the fitness test yesterday I realized that I need to work on my hip flexors.  I have always had trouble with my right hip flexor, especially when I used to swim.  Stretching was never strongly encouraged by our swim coaches, so the lack of mobility there stemmed from the fact that I never thought to stretch my hip flexors before or after swim practice.  Although I now try to stretch after my work out regimen, kickboxing has become my new favorite exercise routine, sometimes it is hard for me to take that extra time out of my schedule to stretch after working out, since that habit was never emphasized as an important facet of fitness by my coaches.

I enjoyed doing the Conconi test the most, mainly because I have always been a distance athlete.  I wish there was a way to work on my sprints, but the Kosmin test just proved that I will never be a true sprinter.  In high school, I tried to work more on sprinting, but it only improved my distance freestyle times.  My splits during races would always get faster as the end of the race approached.  I frequently competed in the 100 yard butterfly, but I made it to Nationals in the 200 yard butterfly instead because of my inability to sprint.  My last fifty split in the 200 fly qualifying swim was faster than my two middle fifties.

I was surprised by the outcome of the bench press section of the fitness test.  When I was younger, I was able to lift approximately 85 pounds, but I have since stopped lifting as frequently as I used to, mainly due to tendonitis and rotator cuff issues in my left shoulder.  The summer before my senior year of high school, I was told that I should stop swimming before there was irreparable damage.  I ignored the doctor’s warning, and chose to finish my swimming career, since I was not going to quit after ten years.  My goal was to reach Nationals which took place in Florida, and I was not about to give up on that dream.  I continued swimming, but I started to back off on upper body strength training to avoid losing mobility and function entirely in my shoulder before I had even graduated high school.  I was presently surprised when I found that I could lift more than my personal best yesterday, and even happier that it did not hurt my shoulder to do so.

I have always had personal aspirations to remain fit and healthy throughout my life, and I would like to become a personal trainer after graduate school.  Although I no longer swim competitively, I still get a rush of adrenaline whenever I dive into the pool, and my competitive edge is still an integral part of who I am.



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1 Response to Fitness through the Years

  1. PumpingIron PumpingIron says:

    Similar to you, the testing yesterday reinforced my thinking that my lower body flexibility is a weak point. Growing up playing sports, I was never instructed to stretch much, which I am now paying the consequences for in the form of injuries. Years of baseball in particular forced me to reduce my chest and shoulder exercises due to rotator cuff injury and general shoulder discomfort. Hearing about your calculated decision to continue with swimming and go against your doctor’s recommendation is admirable since you worked too long to stop just shy of your goal. In reference to the increased strength on the bench press, maybe all you needed was time time to let your shoulder recover from all the abuse over the years. I’m sure the personal best was a nice surprise!

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