Swimmng the channel with a dislocated shoulder

Samantha Poulson
Picture, Guy’s and St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust of Physiotherapist Samantha Poulsen, swimming the Channel with an injured shoulder, in freezing water and 1000s of jelly fish.

That is an inspiration to us all, a physiotherapist that shows us how its done, how to deal with injured shoulders, swimming the channel.

Just read this great article in the East London Advertiser, I hope they don’t mind me taking one of their pics to make the case, that everything is possible with an injured shoulder.

There are obviously two ways to deal with problems, 1 is to succumb to them, 2 is to make the best of a situation.

The shoulder injury

On the 30 June Madison took part in the 3km open water London Regional champs, swimming the 3km, then went straight on to the Hackney Lido for another 2km charity swim, on 14. July, at the Barking & Dagenham swimming meet, Madison’s shoulder popped during the 400 IM race.

Since then the shoulder has not gotten much better. Went to the GP, who kind of said that the NHS is not good for sporting injuries.

Eventually on 29. August, she got a shoulder scan at the hospital. The doctor said she could not see anything because there is a lot of inflammation. The doctor wants to do an MRI scan. Now we need to get back to the GP and wait for another appointment on the 18. September to get seen again.

In the meantime the inflammation in Madison’s shoulder is raging untreated. She takes part in training and does mostly kicking and leg exercise.

I am just wondering how a young person is supposed to get settled into any sport if it is so hard to get any treatment for sporting injuries?

All we ever read about is that the NHS can’t cope with treatment of degenerative illnesses but what about the fitness problems?

We are constantly told to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle but if we get any injury with this we cannot get the treatment fast.

For teeth braces now for example here in East London there is a 1 year waiting list to get even seen from the date of referral.

GLL funding offers sporting injury treatment but only very few athletes can get it, I did not apply for it this year, as we hardly used it last year when we had it. Otherwise we get offered treatment against payment. So how many of us can actually afford that?

The MCASA Open Water medal

As the medal service for Middlesex County is more than excellent, a representative of Open Water Swimming delivered my silver medal won in July to me yesterday.  I competed in the 3km distance.

I missed the medal ceremony at the time because I had to rush off for the Sponsored Swim taking place at the Hackney Lido for the purpose of collecting funds for the Hackney Aquatics Charity fund.

 

Rother Valley Open Water Festival 2018

Brilliant! To all you parents, if you look for something refreshing, therapeutic and rejuvenating activity that doesn’t cost you any money and is extremely good for you, consider becoming an Open Water Swimming Official.

Rother Valley is near Sheffield but very rural. It’s like so many Open Water locations a lake or part of a managed inland water area in various locations around the country.

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Swans near the lake where the British Open Water Championships 2018 are held

Wildlife occupy the wonderful lake, the water is very clear and the atmosphere is tranquil despite the fierce competing and swimmers racing around the 1km course as many times as they need to complete their distance. the birds are not phased in the slightest by the swimmers, I saw a group of ducks swimming through without any fear or stress.

All helpers are the friendliest people you can imagine and the team spirit and camaraderie is excellent. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

rotherareaEven the journey home is nice, through a wonderfully tranquil area in the middle of England.

You simply feel a totally wonderful new you after a weekend working in the great team with eager young people in the great English countryside.

 

A new chapter

Looking ahead to the new season 2019 and the challenges this bring. So many new things and routines are going to happen:

  • school GCSE studies begin
  • swimming, join the youth performance squad with more AM training and gym.

Till the end of this season, Madison diverted away from the usual pool competition focus and spent a lot of energy on the 3km open water races. That puts a lot of demand on the body and having all those pool competitions on top of tough long-distance meets puts any athlete to the test.

One reason why Madison’s shoulder gave way with the 400 IM in the Barking & Dagenham summer meet was the participation in a long-distance Open Water meet and we just shelved the rest of this B&D gala. 2 silver medals won this weekend.

It doesn’t matter if an athlete has to pull out of a meet. There are many more to come.

We are now focussing on more intellectual and athletic challenges for next season.

Pool training will soon stop but the summer swim camp is still to come.

School term is nearly complete and with the last week of school term an academic award is still waiting.

The summer holiday will be filled with regular gym sessions, some climbing, canoeing and biking and nature walks. It is very important to relax.

Obviously ultimately the challenge is to get national qualifying times but we don’t want to restrict the variety to just one or two events. The swimmers with the biggest longevity also have the most variety of stroke performance.

Whilst still in the pre-GCSE stage, there is no national training scheme available other than getting a place at a boarding school like Millfield for example. We keep in touch with national swimming by regularly attending the Melanie Marshall swim camps. At age 14 it is progress to keep on getting personal best times and achieving regional qualifying times.

 

3km in 53:10

Just found the Open Water London Championship results OW18 RESULTS and very pleased to see that Madison’s first attempt on Open Water swimming was a success.

Despite getting disoriented in places and forgot to turn corners quickly enough managed a respectable 6th place in the London Region. Yet qualified for s silver medal for Middlesex participants.

Unfortunately Madison missed the medal ceremony and her medal because we rushed off to support the Hackney Aquatics Swim the Thames day where Madison swam another 2km to raise funds for charity.

I contacted the organisers to ask whether she can still get her medal posthum.

Didn’t have any preparation and never even been swimming in Open Water at all.

Madison will try again in Chichester in July.

When I often hear swimmers lament how hard the 800 are, after swimming 3000 meters, I suppose the 800 seem quite easy.

It is easy to get results for pool based and licensed meets on the Personal Best swimming results website, but the Open Water results are not included. Perhaps they will add that in the future.

Out with the old in with the new

My feelings are best shown with the marvellous graffiti currently along the Regents Canal. There is now 1 week leading up to the London Youth Games swimming on Saturday and then followed on Sunday the London Borough of Waltham Forest (Gators) summer meet at the London Aquatics Centre.

It’s always harder to get to the LAC pool when approaching roads and walkways are closed due to other events.

Tomorrow morning for AM practise we have to get up earlier because buses are on diversion and walkways around the LAC are closed.

Looking forward to the usual pool based competition but cannot help wondering why all the best pool swimmers are also doing very well in the Open Water. For example Keri-Anne Payne won a 10km open water sea race in 2014.

Suppose Marathon and Open Water swimming help a lot with endurance and general strength.

 

Walking down

The 3km Open Water is equivalent to swimming the 1500 freestyle twice in one go. We forgot to look at the result but I assume Madison achieved around 50 minutes for the 3km.

I was proud she finished the course on her first attempt. There is no warm-up, there is no swim down. But I think it is important to keep going.

So Madison went for a 2km swim-down to the Hackney Lido.

Today she wanted to stay in bed but I still think it is important to keep moving so that the aching muscles don’t get stiff.

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walking through Richmond Park

We went for a walk to Richmond Park.

hamforest

For the first part we walked through some wooded area the Ham Nature reserve was very similar to Epping Forest, just without the traffic noise in the background.

Just when we arrived at the Richmond Park gate, the sun shone doubly hot directly upon us.

richmond

The sun was burning down on us on 30 degrees and it was absolutely parching hot. However the whole peaceful atmosphere with loud grasshopper choirs filling the air achieves an amazing peace of mind.

It is well worth to have a change of scenery and recover out of the pool in good air for a day.

Fabulous fun day

Today was a great fun day, unforgettable, filled with ambition and eagerness to achieve, coupled with fun.

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In the early afternoon was the 3km swim for the London Region Open Water championships at Surrey Quay and following that was another 2km sponsored swim at the London Fields Lido.

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Madison, still with her number 60 on the skin from the London Open Water Championships 2018

It was really enjoyable seeing the coaches chip in and swim for fun too.

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Rick Hall, HAC head coach on his sponsored swim, go Rick

Everybody enjoyed themselves, superb.

I shall greatly miss Coach Naomi, who always encouraged me to join Hackney Aquatics.

 

A perfect inset day

The school inset day could not have come at a better time. It’s the day before our first Open Water swim and a day off school with a taper down training session prepares Madison perfectly for the 3km swim tomorrow.

Talking of swimming reminds me of the water shortage reports I’ve heard on the news this morning. Apparently people are advised to have short showers instead of a bath to save water. I do not agree at all. If you have a bath and then use the old bath water to water the garden you get much more out of your water. If you have showers the water just runs down the drain.