The amputee adventures are a Go!
Nick’s first underwater experience as an amputee was wildly successful. First he practiced kicking with a traditional fin, which was too rigid, so he switched to a more modern split-fin design. The weakness in his right side was very obvious as he swam around the pool. Those fins create a lot of resistance and require a lot of leg strength to use.
We were all surprised to discover Nick’s buoyancy was fairly neutral, meaning he was able to keep his body parallel to the pool bottom without touching the ground.
He surfaced after 15 minutes, took off the fins, and put on a pair of webbed gloves. He liked this set up much better. He could swim faster and had more control using his arms and was less fatigued by not loading up his legs with resistance.
We were high all day from the experience. This was the first taste of familiar adventure Nick has had since his accident. The first attempt at a former hobby that he loves and longs for. Being weightless under water took his pain away and made him feel alive. No gravity weighing him down, no phantom pain, no stress – just calm, relaxed breathing, exploring the limits of his body. Soon, he’ll be exploring the ocean and all it’s majestic sea life.
A huge thank you to Bill and John at Sport Chalet in Menifee. They met with Nick before their shift started, for free, to help a broken man dive again. They were genuinely as excited as, if not more than, Nick and I. Wonderful, wonderful people. We’ll be diving with them soon!