Swimming. As many of you know it is mentally, physically, and emotionally tough for me to get through. I am a self taught swimmer and while I hold my own I am no where near as fast as I would like to be, or believe I can be, and it seems as though no matter how hard I work at it I do not get faster. I took a few lessons leading up towards Kona which helped and while I felt like my swim at Kona was strong it was 5-10 minutes slower than I want to be.
Most recently I took a two week break from swimming as my negativity towards the discipline had reach an all time high. This week marked the start of being back in the pool and working towards Ironman Texas. I had a fairly decent swim in which coach had me focusing on head position – I did notice that by only focusing on one aspect of my technique I did not get as overwhelmed in the pool as I can be.
Us triathletes have a pretty tough personality, some call it masochistic, in which we can beat ourselves up pretty good when we are not up to the par we believe we should be. I am no different. It was when I had completed my swim and was standing in a cascade of hot water washing the chlorine off my skin that it hit me one of my problems… my attitude towards swimming. While I was standing there I found myself instantly being frustrated with myself for getting fatigued when only swimming a 100, my heart rate feeling as though it was through the roof, being slow, having one good 100 yd then immediately having a bad one, and the list could go on and on. Basically, I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to swimming. All of these thoughts instantly started coming to the surface and I found myself getting really frustrated over a swim that actually went pretty well.
It was then that I realized that I was not focusing on the good when it came to swimming merely focusing on the fact that I am not where I want to be; it was time to come up with a new mantra, a new way of thinking, and to embrace the positive vs. the negative.
A part of embracing this positive energy over the negative energy is to come up with a mantra that will play on repeat in my head a) I love swimming b) I am a strong swimmer c) I am improving every day and d) every day in the pool is a good day.
Our actions release positive and/or negative energy into the world, by focusing on only radiating positive energy to those around me and the actions I embark it will hopefully transfer into that action. It is this positive energy that I plan to transfer into my swimming. Positive energy has worked in the past, it is what got me to the start line of Ironman Arizona and it is what kept me going during the tough portion of the Kona marathon so it should work with swimming.
This way of thinking has always been easy for me in running and biking but it has not come easy in swimming. Maybe it is because swimming does not come natural to me, maybe it is because I am so new to swimming (2013), or maybe it is just that one piece of the puzzle that is more difficult and I just need to embrace that. No matter what it is I know that I will not improve unless I change my attitude. I know there is still a lot of work I need to do in the pool but for now I am hoping that changing my tune will be a good start.