Meet a member in Switzerland – Cristian

Though actually, he’s in Barcelona at the moment…….Cristian is one of our Swiss contingent of out of towners. He joins us for most major meets and won gold, silver and bronze medals in the relays at the Worlds in South Korea in 2019.

Where are you based and what isolation approach have you followed? How have you coped with the break from training?

I am based in Zurich, Switzerland. I had my last training on March 4, just one day prior to my surgery (hip joint replacement). At that time I already knew that I wouldn’t be able do exercise until at least mid-May. Blessing in disguise: I could manage to fix a date for the surgery right before these kinds of surgeries were prohibited due to the Covid-19 outbreak. In fact it was the last working day of my surgeon, before he had to make himself availabe to assist the Covid-19 specialists. I prepared myself well for the training interruption due to the upcoming surgery.

Have you managed to get back into the water yet? If so, how was it?

Yes, but not as quick as I wanted, because one day I toppled over and suffered a femoral neck fracture right around the area of the hip prosthesis (ouch!). The result was a multi-week training interruption and even today I am forced to use Nordic sticks when walking. I had my first training session on June 21, 1 km but only with Pullboy. I have to be careful and must avoid kicking due to the fracture. But I am already in the water four times a week and have increased my level to 2 kms per training session.

Cristian’s training pool in Barcelona

Do you have a daily fitness routine?

After the hip surgery I had physiotherapy sessions twice a week, but after the fracture I was forced to move very slowly. So I couldn’t exercise much from March 4 until June 20, just a few walks and not longer than 20 min each. But a week ago I started having physio twice a week again and I am in the water 4 times a week.

Any recommendations for team mates?

Never give up! Search for alternative ways and think positively.

Which competitions have you missed/will you miss and how will that affect you?

None in particular, because I didn’t intend to participate in any 2020 competitions. I am not missing out on anything and will take my time to slowly recover. First, the fracture needs to heal and due to my legs being unequal lengths following the surgery, I need to learn to walk properly again. For the time being I am concentrating on my technique and try to increase my swimming distancies gradually. I enjoy that.

How is your partner/family/housemate coping with you missing your regular training sessions?

I was spoiled and pampered. In these extraordinary times swimming was not my number one priority. The healing came first.

What are you most looking forward to when you can get back to training?

I am glad I am over the worst and just happy to be back in the water 🙂

Any plans for Open Water training or racing over the summer?

No plans.

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