August 22, 2015

In two weeks I’ll be boarding the plane to Tokyo. These will be two weeks in which we’ll have to concentrate on not making any mistakes that could result in injury.

Recently, my left shoulder has not been cooperating. Since April I’ve experienced pain that drugs and therapy have failed to alleviate.

Upon my return from Spain, Ariadna referred me to Jorge Avendaño to undergo shockwave therapy. Jorge is a sports doctor who has one of the best rehabilitation clinics I know. Not only are he and his team excellent doctors, but they provide excellent service, as well. His office opens at 6:45 AM, offers sessions throughout the day—including at lunchtime—and I’ve never had to wait more than three minutes for them to see me.

In shock wave therapy, a high intensity sound wave interacts with body tissue. This unleashes a cascade of positive effects, such as increasing neovascularization, reversing chronic inflammation, stimulating collagen and the dissolving calcium accumulation. Stimulation of these biological mechanisms creates an optimal self-healing environment. As the injured area returns to normal, functionality is restored and pain is relieved.

The intensity at which the shockwaves are applied depends on the stage of therapy one is at, as well as the severity of the injury. This type of therapy is a painful process, but it does teach you focus in order to withstand pain. Also, if by chance a friend is receiving it with you, it’s an opportunity to compare thresholds—to see who can take more pain.

I received four sessions of shockwave therapy. I have been improving and I just hope that with the last two my shoulder will finally heal. Today I swam 7 km in Las Estacas and my shoulder was better, although the pain has not disappeared completely.

We’ll see what happens. I am relieved to know that I have swum for 33 weeks, accumulating nearly one million meters. When I wake up in the morning, and then when I am swimming, I do visualization exercises. I am ready to face the Flying Dragon. (Tappi Misaki——my starting point to swim the Tsugaru Channel, means The Cape of the Flying Dragon.) I need to take care of myself for just three more weeks.