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How Calm My Pain Products Helped Me Complete The Alcatraz Swim
Swimming from Alcatraz to the San Francisco shore was at one time thought to be impossible. “Known as The Rock or simply Alcatraz, the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, located more than a mile off the coast of San Francisco, was built to be the strongest prison in America. It was also created to be escape-proof. Due to the security of the prison facility itself, the distance from shore, cold water, and strong currents, few dared to attempt to escape. Although the prison housed about 1,500 total prisoners, only 14 total escape attempts were made. Of those who attempted to escape, none are believed to have successfully made it to shore without drowning, being captured, or being shot during the attempt. The prison held such notorious as figures as mob boss Al Capone, Jame ‘Whitey’ Bulger, George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly, and Robert ‘The Birdman’ Stroud.” (https://www.odysseyopenwater.com/history-of-swimming-from-alcatraz)
When I recently visited the island, the park ranger stated that the first person to swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco was a teenager. She was the daughter of one of the prison employees and wanted to prove it could be done. This was in the 1930’s. Even though it’s not impossible, it is a terrible challenge due to cold water, strong currents and sharks.
In 2021, I made a goal to swim Alcatraz as a way to challenge myself. I have been a competitive swimmer since the age of 5. I swam in high school and continue to swim as a Masters swimmer. I’ve competed at Masters Nationals and done a few open water swims in lakes here in Arizona. But I had never competed in a race in the ocean. This would be a first for me.
Open water swimming, specifically in cold water, has been proven to be beneficial mentally and physically. Swimming in cold water reduces pain and inflammation, boosts the immune system and improves circulation. Calm My Pain has a goal to help people reduce their pain so they can have a better quality of life. To promote that philosophy they decided to sponsor me for this event. The mental health benefits of open water swimming include the release of endorphins, combatting anxiety and depression, and creating a sense of community while connecting with nature. I experienced all of these benefits while training and participating in the Alcatraz swim.
Calm My Pain sponsored my swim as they are committed to helping people relieve pain with natural supplements and products. I used four products regularly in my training for this event.
You would think that being a swimmer in Arizona, I would get enough Vitamin D from sun exposure. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This is true for many Americans who simply don’t produce enough Vitamin D from the sun and therefore need to take it as a supplement. My health care provider told me over 10 years ago that I needed to take at least 5000 IUs of Vitamin D every day. Conveniently, Calm My Pain’s Vitamin D comes in 5000 IU tablets. Vitamin D is more than just a vitamin. Most people think it just helps absorb calcium. While this is true, it also helps the body produce sex hormones: testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. It is also crucial to maintaining our immune system, muscles and nerves. It also assists with mood regulation. I take Calm My Pain Vitamin D3 every night.
While training for an open water swim, it is easy to get sore muscles. After a good workout, when I have sore muscles, I take Calm My Pain’s High Absorption Turmeric. Made from Curcugen, a curcumin product that is 39 times more bioavailable than regular curcumin, I get immediate results. This turmeric also doesn’t have Bioperine (black pepper extract) because it has been specially formulated to increase absorption. Turmeric is a must have for any athlete to keep inflammation and pain to a minimum. Calm My Pain’s High Absorption Turmeric is the best on the market.
When I travel, most of the time I have a difficult time sleeping in unfamiliar places. I always take Zonk with me so I can be guaranteed a good night’s rest. The benefits of Zonk are more than just the ability to fall asleep. The melatonin paired with the magnesium give my muscles the nutrients they need to relax, allowing my muscles to be ready for anything required of them. The night before my Alcatraz race I took a Zonk to be assured I’d be well rested in mind and body.
After the race I was definitely a little sore. You don’t really warm up for the race, (other than the swim from the boat to the starting line) and I certainly didn’t cool down. Calm My Pain CBD Roll On is great for any aches and pains. You simply roll the gel onto your skin in any area that is sore. The gel has Biofreeze also, so it has a cooling sensation that feels amazing! The CBD in the gel works almost immediately- taking away the pain. After an open water swim, my neck is usually sore from repetitively turning my head to the side while swimming. I applied the roll on to my neck and it immediately alleviated the soreness!
All of the products I mention above can be bought together in the Weekend Warrior Pak. It’s been put together for people just like me: people who are looking for natural ways to calm normal aches and pains associated with working out.
I completed the race on Sunday, August 7th. It was a beautiful clear sunny day. Along with about 1000 other swimmers, we loaded onto 2 ferries who took us from the shore to Alcatraz Island. The ferries parked in the water next to the island and all of the swimmers jumped into the ocean and swam to the starting point. There was a feeling of excitement in the air! The horn blew and the race began. The first 5 minutes of the race I was just trying to find a place to swim without hitting someone else. I quickly got in my groove and tried to follow the lead boat the best that I could. Someone asked me after the race how the clear water was, but I honestly never even remember looking in it. I just kept my eye on the boat ahead and the swimmers around me.