Making friends with a pull buoy

Dear Pull buoy,

We need to talk.

I’m sure this isn’t coming as a surprise to you.

It’s not you, it’s me.

From the moment my osteopath introduced us, I knew friendship was not in our future.

I admit, I judged you from the beginning. I’m not proud of it, but I think I need to be honest. I didn’t like that you had ‘Speedo’ written on the front instead of ‘Garmin’. I didn’t like that you were labelled an “assistance device” despite claiming to be good for endurance and strength. I really didn’t like that in order for us to get to know each other I had to go swimming.


I’m not a swimmer. I can swim, I’m just not a swimmer. I don’t enjoy it and I don’t do it for fun. About 8 years ago when I started running on the regular, I didn’t even own a bathing suit. In fact, I was proud that I didn’t own one.

So with a heavy heart, I went to the pool. The cold, long, outdoor pool because the doctors orders said I couldn’t do anything else.

At first, swimming with you pull buoy was an arduous task. I was already bad as swimming (no doubt due to a lack of practice) but with you my arms had to do all of the work and my runners arms are not exactly strong.

I would make it 40 metres, if I was lucky, without feeling like I was going to drown. Yep that’s 30 seconds of swimming. With you held between my legs, my butt floated and pushed my bobbly head down.

But I persevered because I had no other choice.

I’m now on day 8 of a 1 km swim streak. I’ve managed to swim 1km every day for 7 days. It does get easier and I think our relationship is getting stronger. The urge for me to throw you across the pool in disgust or accidentally leave you at home has faded.

I still curse you when the teenage squads are also in the pool and if is as rough as open water. The fact that your buoyancy pulls with the movement of the water is only making my core stronger even though it is not ideal.

But hey, being injured is not ideal. Having to swim at all is not ideal.

On this the 38th day since my diagnosis, I say goodbye pull buoy.

The green light has been given for the stationary bike so it is at the gym I will be.

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