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5 Shoulder Surgeries and Back in the Pool!

6 February 2019

Sara Lark
Sara lives the "Stay Calm and Swim" message from her Tropic Tag Funkitas.

We teamed up with MySwimPro to help keep Sara Lark swimming after her fifth shoulder surgery with some new Funkita gear. Sara shares her recovery story with us below, talking about all the ups and downs of recovery and how important it is to listen to your body as you get back in the pool.

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.

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.

Sara Lark
Listening to her body has been key to keeping Sara in the pool.

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.

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 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.

What an incredible journey from Sara! If you want to see how MySwimPro pairs with new Funkitas to reach your 2019 training goals then click here to visit their website.

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