Flipper Fun

My two year old niece Bean looked at my feet and said:

“No, Aunty Touretteshero, not needed.”

She was right of course; I didn’t really need to be wearing flippers in the house, though as a wheelchair user I could do this without any great inconvenience.

Bean looked disapprovingly at my feet and I removed the flippers.

Until the other day I’d never worn flippers, let alone swum in them. But during a recent hydrotherapy session my physio suggested I give them a try.

They’re useful in two main ways: firstly, by making my feet bigger I have a more stable base when I try to stand in the pool. Secondly, when I kick they increase the power of my legs, making them work harder and making me go faster.

I loved using them during my physio session so I bought a pair online to use in my local pool. They arrived the other day and I tried them on immediately – much to Bean’s disapproval.

Since the start of the year I’ve been to my local pool almost every day: doing a little bit of exercise in the pool regularly seems to be having a positive impact on how much pain I’m in.

I’m really lucky that my local pool has a brilliant hydrotherapy pool as well. It’s open most of the time, and is free for me to use. The water is warmer than in a regular pool and during some sessions there are bubbles that massage you too.

At the weekends there are family swims for disabled parents and their children, or disabled children and their parents. King Russell and I often take Bean to these sessions and I love them, both because they’re fun and because it makes me feel part of the local community of families affected by disability. You can find out about disability-related sports opportunities near you via Parasport.

Today I tried out my new flippers in the pool during a family swimming session. Bean seemed to approve of me using them in the water especially after I told her they were duck shoes. They were brilliant and added a new dimension to my exercises. I left feeling tired and happy, and my legs had definitely had a good work-out.

An added dimension to my swim was my involuntary “quacking”

“Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack….”

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