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Swinging Abby Part 5: I'm Swiiinging in the Rain…Just Deeealing With the Pain!

A common question I'm asked whenever I mention my swinging saga is "Didn't your butt get sore?" While it's true that the majority of my time was spent sitting, oddly enough the answer to that question is "No". Really, it didn't. However, just about every other part of my body did. And as each new group of muscles protested, it created a dilemma that required a little creativity to solve.
 
The initial alteration to the swing was made the very first evening. While strap swings are comfortable for the normal amount of time one might enjoy swinging in them, they're decidedly not meant for the long haul. It took only a couple hours for me to discover that if something wasn't done quickly, my legs would never be useful as anything besides rather large, gangly appendages to keep my feet attached to my body. They ached so badly I could barely stand, much less walk, when my five-minute break rolled around. So my father, Bob, took a large piece of wood and jammed it between the chains, topped by two pieces of foam egg-crate packing, covered with a towel. Voilà: a cushioned seat that didn't compress my legs together, rendering them useless.
 
By day three a new problem presented itself. No, not blisters on my hands as I had feared. Rather, the insides of my elbows were black-n-blue all up and down the veins from holding onto the chains by simply wrapping my arms around them to keep from falling backwards.  So, out came the egg crate foam once more, wrapped around the chains and tied on with clothesline. Problem solved, Abby doesn't look like a heroin junkie anymore!
 
Unfortunately, my legs must have been feeling neglected because they came back to haunt me again. While I could now sit more comfortably, it was realized that the constant dangling was still making walking quite an endeavor whenever the swing stopped. Out came a piece of rope and a small board, creating a footrest (remember my remark about needing only a footstool? Well, there ya go!). Last but not least, a beach towel was tied between the chains to form a backrest. By day five my swing-contraption looked like this:

The Contraption

 
Comfy as a La-Z-Boy recliner!

La-Z-boy swing.

 
So with my enemy Pain soundly defeated, the next thing to endure was…Rain. And rain it did. Sometimes all day long, and despite the tarp-tent, it was often pretty miserable. My knees would get wet on the forward swing so I had to either cover them with the ever-present yellow raincoat (seen on the bench in the picture above) or swing lower, which I didn't like doing for fear of falling asleep (oh yes, more about that later). Additionally, the water would pool into small ponds beneath the tarp, making it difficult to get on or off the swing without getting my feet wet. During those two weeks I also weathered a major thunderstorm with high winds, making it nearly impossible to stay dry. I was just glad at some points that it didn't snow.
 
But no matter how bad it got, I refused to stop, and someone was always there with me. Even visitors came in the rain. Some even came to entertain! The moral support coming from all sides, friends, family and strangers alike was amazing. Next time, we'll take a look at some of the people who kept me going when the going got tough.