Chris' Progress : 637 of 600 Laps Completed!
Day 11 - May 28 - 55 laps! 2,750 yards. What a day! I reached the 600 laps goal AND I had special guests surprise me at the gym. A friend of ours brought her two kids to the pool to swim some laps with me and this was after they had been at a swim meet across town most of the morning! She and my wife devised a sneaky plan to delay me getting to the pool until the afternoon so they could beat me there and ambush me! I was maybe 3 or 4 laps in and I noticed that there were 3 sets of legs standing in front of my lane at the end of the pool. I stop and look up and SURPRISE! HA! They got me. Emma and Will joined me and they put in 32 laps with me. I think thats what the final count was, but that's what I'm counting! I personally made 55 laps tho so adding their 32 we made 637 laps total. They also made me an honorary Narwhal and gave me a red MAC swim cap so I wouldn't have to wear that awful "pink nightmare". We also talked about some possibilities of having them join me in creating a team for this next year and possibly even an event in association with a club team. I'm excited for the future of this fundraiser.
All in all a successful month and I really think I'm done. I was going to go tonight but I'm sore and just tired so I'm probably going to pass and I'll start up again on Thursday night just swimming for my own physical well being. It's a nice time to be alone and think about life in general. I plug in my earplug/headphones and listen to some music and just swim. Until next year everyone!
Day 10 - May 27 - 60 Laps! 3,000 yards. Today was definitely not as easy as Thursday. I made it through 60 laps somehow to make tomorrow a reachable goal for 600. I also swam with that flowery swim cap... NEVER.... AGAIN. :) That thing was not only ugly but it was a huge drag when I was swimming! Extra effort to get thru the water. Tomorrow I will be swimming at least one lap in the "pink nightmare" swim / head cover that my friend (anonymous) sent to me. I made a video challenge to see if anyone would donate extra money to have me swim additional laps in the nightmare. The original deadline was 9 am but I think I will have to push it back to approximately 3 pm. Whenever I make it to the pool, I will check the donations and see how many laps I have to swim in that thing. Today was extra humiliating because in the time it took me to swim one lousy lap, 5 people came out to the pool! Ugh. Anyway, if you're reading this, the video challenge was for every $100 raised over the $3500 goal I would swim an extra lap in the pink nightmare. So have at it folks! Make me embarass myself again! :) This year has been really fun and quite a challenge and I hope that the OIF does this fundraiser next year again. I have had several people express interest in joining me and creating a team. Competetive swimmers, it would be fantastic.
Day 9 - May 25 - 75 laps! Yes, you read that right. 75 LAPS! 3,750 yards. I swam (2) 250 yard warm ups (5 laps) and then during the 3rd set, I kept going, and going and going. I stopped at 1,000 yards. Didn't really need to but I decided to drink some gatorade to try and make sure my leg didn't cramp up again. So, I geared up again, added the swim gloves and set out to do another 500 yards. Well, I was feeling good. REALLY good so I kept going, and going, and going..... 1,500 yards later, I again stopped. Not out of necessity again but to drink some more gatorade. I was already at 60 laps and hadn't touched my kickboard yet. So off came the gloves and goggles and I started swimming with the kickboard. I usally stop every 250 yards with the kickboard but as was the pattern last night, I kept going. Finally after 750 yards - 15 laps, I stopped. Only because I was up against the clock. I had been in the water for almost exactly 2 hours and it was getting late. So I decided that was enough for a week night. I'm a little sore today but not too bad considering. One casualty of the night, my headphones for my AquaPod sound like they shorted out. That was horrible trying to swim without music since I've become so used to having it. On to the interwebs today to search for replacements. I'm even considering finishing up in my next session likely to be Saturday. We'll see how I feel. If I can do 75, I can sure do 110. :) Stay tuned.
Day 8 - May 23 - 65 laps, 3,250 yards. Since we're in the home stretch, I figured I needed to kick it up a notch and try and get back on pace. Well, I'm getting there but the next few days of swimming are going to be a challenge. Taking that week off (unintentionally) really set me off the pace but barring a serious injury, I will make it up. That much I can promise. We are also within a couple hundred bucks of the fundraising goal! Come on people, just a little more!
UPDATE: Well, good intentions and all that.... I had planned on swimming at least once over the weekend. Needless to say, that did not happen. I had errands on Saturday that took most of the day and Sunday, well, as anyone with OI can attest, some days, we just hurt. Nothing specific but it's difficult to get out of bed. I felt horrible Sunday morning. A very uncomfortable day for me. My body just hurt. Not muscles so much, more joint and bone pain and it was everywhere. So I spent the day resting in a nice cool home because it was HOT outside. 102 yesterday. ANYWAY, I feel much better today than I did yesterday but I will not be able to swim until tomorrow. I am going to get back at it tomorrow (Tuesday) and make up the lost laps hopefully. We're at 89% of the fundraising goal and I'm still at 350 of 600. I'm definitely going to make it but it's going to take some work! I appreciate all your support!
Day 7 - May 16 - 65 LAPS! 3,250 YARDS! I received some extra motiviation yesterday morning. My good friend Stacey, who lives in Massachusetts, told me that her 10 year old daughter Leah started following my progress and the fundraiser. Apparently she then mentioned what I was doing for the OI Fundraiser in a class discussion of things going on in the world and now her entire class is following my progress! How cool is that!? I think it's just awesome that an entire class of kids across the country that I don't even know are paying attention! This is exactly what this fundraiser needs! So thank you Leah and your classmates for giving me the extra motivation to swim yesterday! I can't tell you how much that email meant to me.
I started out swimming yesterday with the thought if I get 40 laps, I'm going to be happy with that and anything else is just a bonus. Well, I hit that groove around 35 laps so I kept going. By the time I stopped that particular portion of the swim, I had made 1,500 yards without stopping because I was in that groove. Once I finished the 1,500 I was at 50 laps so I decided to get 5-10 laps with the kickboard. This kickboard has been my nemesis. It seems everytime I use the kickboard, my right calf will start to cramp. I made 6 laps and sure enough, my calf muscle started in on me. I thought of stopping but then I realized if I get 9 more laps, that will put me at 350 total. So I ditched the kickboard, took a few minutes to drink some gatorade and work out the muscle tightness. Started back at a nice easy, well, slow pace. Had a couple of times where my calf muscle would threaten to give me trouble again but I was able to hold it at bay and continue. I got done with the last 9 laps and just couldn't believe I made it. That hot tub looked really inviting but it was getting late and I wanted to get home. Next swim day will probably not be until Saturday. Have a busy week this week so I'm guessing Saturday AND Sunday will be at least partially spent at the pool.
The other cool thing is, I always put the sign that the OIF sent me, out by the chair when I'm swimming. Yesterday for the first time I'm aware, I saw 3 people take the time to read it and what the OIF is doing and all about Osteogenesis Imperfecta but also, 2 of them stopped and asked me about it. That was a great way to end the day. Need to get the word out and the attention to this and I really hope that this becomes a yearly event.
Day 6 - May 14 - 42 laps - 2,100 yards. This was by far the most difficult day of swimming I have had. The whole time I felt like I was swimming through jello. Or a mud bog. I felt slow, and just completely discombobulated. Talk about willing myself to do this many laps. On the plus side, I had zero problems with my calf cramping up. I started the magnesium supplements a few days ago and it seems to be working! We will see what Tuesday brings in the next swim night.
Day 5 - May 11 - 52 laps - 2,600 yards. Got to the pool, not nearly as busy as the day before. Hadn't swam back to back days in a long time so this was going to be interesting. Figured if I got in 40 it would be sufficient but I decided to push it a little bit. Put off the kick board until I had my 40 laps in, made 6 more laps with the kickboard and the leg cramp started in. Dang it. I'm starting to think that I have a muscle strain/pull because this has been every time I've been swimming. I've tried doing a couple of different swimming strokes but I'm not very good at them so I need to practice. Backstroke was difficult, with my legs being so weak (and only having one foot) it's hard to make any progress with just my arms. Even tried to hold the kickboard over my head and lay on my back and kick a few laps. It went ok but it was after I had started feeling the cramp coming on so I didn't make much progress. The problem seems to stem from the swim fin I wear. Without the swim fin, I literally cannot move the kickboard, I just hover in the water and barely move so the fin is required if I'm going to be moving forward. Anyway, I have some work to do on varying my routine. Next swim day will be Sunday the 14th.
UPDATE: Day 4 - May 10 - I was able to get 45 laps - 2,250 yards. Got a late start, not in the pool until 7:30 pm. It was packed when I got there. Every lane had 2 people in it. So about 7:15 I picked a lane and just pulled up a chair and waited. The last lane #3, is my personal favorite. Furthest away from the steps, least likely to have to deal with people coming out of the hot tub and or sauna and jumping in to cool off. Yeah, cause that's what I want to do, swim thru your sweaty mess on one of my laps. Disgusting. But I digress. So in lane 3, had to share for about 20 laps but that's ok. It does slow me down a little as I try to be conscious of where the other person is at because I do not want a collision. That could be bad for someone with OI. About lap 38, I could feel my right calf tightening up again. GAH! Stopped the kickboard laps and did a few more freestyle and at lap 44, BAM, it cramped up bad. I stopped and took off my swim fin, loosened it up and pretty much dog paddled/side stroke the rest of the lap. It's getting frustrating. Tonight is my next swim, 2 in a row might be tough but if I don't go tonight I won't be able to go probably until Sunday so I need to get another 40 in before then to maintain my pace for 600.
Day 4 - ? lap goal. I am going into tonight with no set goal. I have to start a little later than normal because of a fitness class being held at 6 so I can't even hit the water til 7 pm. So, I'm going to swim for an hour and see where ever I'm at, that's what it will be.
In other news. An "anonymous" donor sent me 3 lovely swim caps to use to try and help cut down the resistance from my longish hair and beard. I really don't need them because I swim slow enough that I'm sure the difference would be negligible in the time it takes. BUT, because I told this person, you send them, I'll wear them.... well... look at my photos I just posted. :)
Day 3 - May 7 - 60 laps - 3,000 yards. I didn't even really want to go to swim today. As anyone with OI can tell you, some days you just hurt. Nothing specific but dang it, you just hurt. My inspiration, Stacey told me, just go and even if you get 10 laps in it's something towards your goal. Thank you honey for convincing me to go. I was worried my calf muscle was going to really slow me down if it started acting up so I went nice and slow for the first 10 laps. Then I told myself, come on, 5 more. Got thru those 5 and told myself , 5 more. I told that to myself 10 more times and holy smoke if I didn't hit 60 laps! I almost felt like I could've gone another 40. Yes, I still hurt, but I kept telling myself I'm not doing this for me. I'm doing it for everyone that comes after me. I want to live to see treatment advances so all those folks dealing with much more severe cases of OI have a better live than I did. And not just for them, for their loved ones. I can't imagine how much it hurts their parents, siblings and anyone close to them to see them hurt so often. So me doing these 60 and all 600 are for you and your families. You can deal with this better than anyone else. Some of the toughest people I've ever met have been laying in a hospital bed after their 10th surgery. Warriors in the truest sense of the word. And the people that have your back. You're not alone, none of us are.
Day 2 - May 4 - 45 laps - 2,250 yards. Didn't quite make my goal of 50 laps - 2,500 yards. Once again the leg cramps hit. Right calf AND as a bonus, top of the same foot. So I couldn't relieve the calf cramp by pulling my toes upward, because my foot was cramping and it made it worse when I tried to pull them up, but I couldn't push them down either because then my calf cramp became worse. Fun fun stuff. I had to just suffer through it and slowly move my foot up and down until it went away. I'll admit the hot tub after swimming felt REALLY good tonight. Next swim day is sometime this weekend. Not sure when yet but it'll happen and I will update then!
Day 1 - May 2 - 41 laps - 2,050 yards. I was getting into a nice rhythm near the end in spite of being tired and my right calf started cramping up. The last 5 laps were fighting that otherwise I was going to go for 50 laps. Next swim day, Thursday May 4th.
I have pledged to swim 600 laps during the month of May, up from 500 laps in 2015. (1 lap in = 2 full lengths of 25 yards each so for 600 laps I will be swimming a total of 30,000 yards which is just over 17 miles!) The donation goal for this year is $3500!
50,000 people in the United States are affected by osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a rare genetic disease that makes bones fragile and easily broken. A person living with OI may experience hundreds of painful fractures over a lifetime. Infants with OI are often born with multiple broken bones. In severe cases of OI, a cough can break an adult’s rib. Each person with OI is unique, with different fracture rates, a varied range of related health issues and his or her own path through life. Yet there is one thing every person living with OI has in common… an Unbreakable Spirit!
Please help us to provide answers to families, fund research, and maintain a network of support groups for families dealing with the daily realities of OI by making a gift and even joining us for this fun event.
You don't have to donate per lap, it's a flat donation whatever you're comfortable with, be it $1 or $100! Every little bit helps.
Two years ago, not knowing really what to expect, I had initially posted a $500 goal. Well, that was reached in less than 2 days so I increased it to $1,000. That was also exceeded within the first 2 weeks so ultimately I settled on $2,500. I don't remember what the exact final tally was but it was over $3,000 for that month. I was shocked and so grateful for all of you that supported me in this challenge.
When I last participated in this swimming challenge, it was right around the time that the "Ice Bucket Challenge" was raising millions of dollars for ALS. Recently I've heard through the news that a new ALS gene has been discovered due to the millions that were raised to advance the research. Who knows where this could lead but wow, that's an amazing development.
At the time I thought, well why does OI not get this kind of press and fundraising opportunities?! Good question. I think all of us, people directly and indirectly dealing with this disorder (I hate the connotations of saying disease) need to step up and get our voices heard and do whatever we can to raise awareness. God knows what is possible with additional research money and just getting the attention. The Ice Bucket Challenge was the perfect example of something so simple that can have such an enormous impact.
Many of you know my story. For those that don’t; I was first diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta at approximately 5 years of age. I had already been accepted as a patient of the Shriners Hospital shortly after birth due to my left foot not being completely developed and at 6 months of age it was amputated. So, one day while being a hyper little 5-year-old, I was running like a chihuahua all hopped up on chocolate through my father’s clothing and fabric store in our small home town an hour west of Minneapolis, MN. A lady stepped out from behind a rack of clothes and BAM! I ran into her at full speed resulting in a broken right femur. My parents took me to the local hospital and they recommend that since I was already a patient at Shriner’s Hospital I be transferred to them in Minneapolis for treatment. While there, I was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Coincidently, Shriner’s Hospital was one of the leading specialists dealing with OI at the time and over the year’s age 5 through 12 it became my home away from home. We had no known family history of this disease at the time so the most likely cause is a gene mutation. We moved to Arizona in 1978 where I had several more broken bones, and surgeries. As a result of all the fractures, I have rods in both femurs and in November 2016 I received a right hip replacement.
I was officially "typed" at Mayo Clinics in Phoenix in 2016. I have Type 4 OI. For information on OI Types, select this link: http://www.oif.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AOI_Types
Thanks again for taking the time to read all this and more importantly, thanks for any donation you can make. It's all appreciated.
To support the important work of the OI Foundation, simply click on the "Make a gift!" link under the thermometer on this page.
If you prefer to mail in your donation, print and fill out this form: http://www.oif.org/site/TRGiftForm?fr_id=2001&px=1004801
Make all checks payable to the OI Foundation. Then, please mail your check directly to the foundation with my name on the memo line.
Please give whatever you can! Will you also spread the word and help us generate buzz for this event that will make a difference? Let's make this the next Ice Bucket Challenge!
I truly appreciate your time, consideration and generosity! Monday May 1st, I start counting for real! Please visit this page to see what progress I'm making daily.