Swimming Breakdown


Things have been moving along with my swimming lessons.  Last week I was frustrated because the class basically had us holding onto the side and blowing bubbles, and practicing floating.  Not exactly intermediate at all.  I was so annoyed with the thing, that I wound up speaking up this week and saying that I wanted to be in with the advanced students because I wanted to learn new things instead of doing the same things we learned in Water Comfort.  Turns out, everyone wound up working on the exact same thing anyway, which was fine.  I didn’t want to be with the advanced students because they were advanced, I just wanted to learn something new.

So, we each are given a kick board, and the teacher is trying to show us how to do rotary breathing.  This is so freaking hard.  SO HARD.  I mean, it isn’t as though I expect to get it on the first try, and actually, everyone in the class struggled with it.  No one got it on the first try, and all of us are going to need to practice it on our own.  That part was fine.  Class went fine, and we went home and went about our day.

The next morning, Master and me got up and we went to the rec center early in the morning, so we could get our workout in for the day.  We got in the water, and started doing our laps.  About five minutes in, I just swam over to Master and started crying about how I couldn’t do this anymore, I couldn’t learn to swim and we should just pull me out of the remaining two classes in the current block I’m in.

Master held me and he told me that I was doing great and he had no idea where this was coming from.

I’m just frustrated.  When I first started to learn to swim, I wore ear plugs, goggles, and a swim cap.  Depending on where I have to go afterwards, I sometimes still wear a swim cap, and I always wear goggles.  I have a septum piercing though, and so nose clips don’t work for me, and I always wind up getting tons of water in my sinuses.  Water in my sinuses has lead to incredibly awful sinus infections and sinus headaches, neither of which I find to be a grand old time. 

Yeah, I know that when you’re learning how to swim you’re going to get a ton of water in your nose while you learn to breathe.  I completely get that, but the side effect of sinus headaches (which are absolutely crippling, and so bad that I can’t lift my head off a pillow or get to the bathroom without help), or sinus infections (which require antibiotics, which means I’ll feel like I’m spinning for about a week) aren’t really fun to me.

So, Master decided to get me a swim mask.  That way, my nose would be covered – my eyes would be covered, and nothing could go wrong.  Right? 


I mean, it’s true.  I’m not getting water in my sinuses now, which means I’m not getting any sinus headaches, which means our nights have been filled with the fun things we like to do, rather than the bull crap of being unable to do anything.  But now, I feel like I can’t breathe at all.  You obviously can’t breathe out of your nose with a mask on, and I can breathe out of my mouth. But for whatever reason, I always feel like I am struggling to get a breath of air.  I am not a mouth-breather generally, and it goes beyond just not being used to the mask.  We have practiced with it a few times, but having my nose blocked off is just making me feel like I’m suffocating.

Master Pravus has gone out of his way to sign me up for two swim classes.  He bought me ear plugs, we tried three different kinds of nose plugs.  He bought me goggles and a mask, and I just feel like I’m stuck at this point which I cannot get past.  Learning to breathe while you swim is so difficult, and because I’m busy working on that I have not gotten any real workouts in at all lately.  I’m out of breath, but my muscles aren’t getting the exercise I am trying to give them.  I’m beyond frustrated and annoyed.

It’s not that I want to give up because the going gets tough.  I mean, I don’t mind it taking me a while to learn skills.  But, not being able to avoid the sinus headaches/sinus infections in this stage is really, really getting me down.  I want to give up because, to me, having crippling headaches is not worth the minor benefit of being able to workout without having as many injuries as “land” sports give me.

So, Master Pravus took me home, and he decided we were going to go to the Zoo.  He thought it would cheer me up.  Even Applepig got to come.

zoo with apple pig

It was ninety degrees though, so we did not wind up staying long.  But, it was nice to get out, see the elephants, zebras, and giraffes, and eat lunch.  When we got home, Master let me use my kitty pool.  That little pool actually got a lot more use than usual this weekend, because it turns out one of the pumps at the rec center (for the lap pool) died, so we wound up having to find more creative ways to cool off.  True, the pump breaking only affected one pool, but it was so crowded that outside of our lessons we really didn’t go down there much.

2013-07-21 17.28.17

So, do I want to give up on swimming?  Hell YES.  Is Master going to let me?  Hell NO.  I just have to remember that all the sinus ickiness and the lack of getting in a workout while we’re at the pool is just temporary.  Once I get this rotary breathing thing down, I should experience less of those crippling headaches, and I should be able to do laps again like I used to.  In the meantime though, I’ll just have to do my workouts before I go to the pool.

Just a minor bump in the road.

13 thoughts on “Swimming Breakdown

  1. I’m sorry you’re having such nasty sinus problems, Kitty. Have you tried cleaning your sinuses with a Neti Pot and saline water, or just saline spray after swimming? It seems to help a lot.

    Keep up the good work. Rotary breathing is SO hard, I’ve been swimming since I was a little kid (my gramma had a cottage on a lake, so we had to learn to swim while we were very young for safety) and I still get out of sync while doing it. I tend to stick to the breast stroke.

    Keep working on it, you’re a strong kitty and you’ll do well!

    1. @P’Gell Thanks for the help. Yep, I’ve been using a neti pot for a long time now. Those things have always been a lifesaver for me, but somehow, even doing two rinses on each side after I am done with swimming for the day doesn’t get me far enough along. If I don’t get wet they are great. But, they definitely do help even if they don’t eliminate the problem completely.

      🙂 I’ll keep trying! <3 It's nice to know that there are other people who sometimes have a hard time with rotary breathing. I want to get good at it, but man, all the sinus stuff is making me crazy.

  2. You’re already ahead of me with the Neti Pot. I always feel I have to play nurse. 🙂 I just feel so bad when pp I care about aren’t feeling well.

  3. Maybe I’m not fully understanding the situation but this post upset me a little bit. It seems like master is making you do something that you don’t like, that is negatively impacting your health, so that you can participate in activities (scuba diving) that he enjoys down the road. I’d have a serious heart to heart with him if you really don’t want to keep swimming. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    1. @Nikki We are in a TPE. And my choices are few. I don’t have a say in whether or not I want to keep swimming and I respect that Master has made this choice for me.

      Sinus infections and sinus headaches are not serious. If Master wants to keep paying the medical bills for me to be treated for those things, then he will. The fact of the matter is that, if I learn the proper way of breathing during swimming, then I won’t keep getting chlorinated water in my sinuses and the headaches and infections will disappear. (They aren’t permanent.)

      I know that, from the outside looking in, Total Power Exchange and Master/slave relationships can seem cruel. But the fact of the matter is, I consented to our “consensual non-consent.” So it isn’t abusive. It is what we both want.

      Am I having a hard time with this?


      Did I have a hard time when my bedtime was put in place?

      Yes! But I am much better for having a bedtime and I know that once I accomplish this I will be far better off for it too.

      Thank you for your heart-felt comment. I always appreciate your thoughts.

  4. I know Kitty doesn’t need me or anyone else to defend her lifestyle choice. She’s quite good and being kind and explaining these things to people on her own. I just wanted to reiterate when pp are in a Power Exchange relationship, often the Dom “makes” his or her sub do things because they are *good* for the sub, as well. On one of Kitty’s other threads on Swimming, I talked about how My Man (my Dom) made me kill bugs when I was terrified of them. Why? He knew it was a fear that was not only getting out of control, but was holding me back from being a full, happy, contented more mature person. He was always with me when I killed the bugs and he would comfort me when I was upset. AND, I overcame most (not all) of my Bugphobia. I’m a better person because of the things he often wants me to do, that I probably wouldn’t have tackled on my own. Also, I’m here to help him when he’s down and when he’s happy and always ready to serve, as well.

    Often, it’s hard to understand a POR from the outside. Thank you for being understanding and respectful, Nikki. 🙂

    And, Kitty, thank you for being always kind and patient and beautiful when explaining things to people. You totally rock! <3

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