Progress will be slow.
If it has been a significant amount of time since you’ve swam, you can’t expect to get right back into the pool and start sprinting. Whether you are recovering from surgery or trying to swim despite an injury, your body is not in optimal shape.
You WILL get back to where you were.
Try not to get frustrated with yourself. It isn’t your fault that you aren’t in the same shape you were in before you were injured. You may have to ease back into your normal training. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever get back to the speed you were before.
You are still the athlete you were.
It may not feel like it when you first return, especially in a sport like swimming, which requires very consistent training to stay in shape, but you are still the athlete you were. Yes, you are in a compromised state, but you are not any slower or less capable than you were before.
Do NOT push yourself too hard.
Yes, you’re eager to get back to where you were before your injury, but it’s not worth hurting yourself more.
Trust your athletic trainers and coaches.
While you know yourself best, your coaches and trainers have worked with countless athletes and swimmers with similar situations. Their input is extremely important throughout the recovery process.
Your health comes first.
Swimming is one of those sports where a few days without practice will leave you out of shape. So don’t be surprised when you get back in and your normal routine is a lot harder. However, that doesn’t mean you should push yourself past what your coach and trainers think is best for you for the time being.
Think long term.
If you are patient and careful now, you will be better off in the long run. Letting your body heal correctly is the most important thing you can do.
Don’t get sucked into the tempting negativity. You will come out of this stronger, more experienced, and happier than you were before. You will grow and learn from this experience. There is no doubt about that.