Its been almost two weeks since I started my I Love Swimming Campaign. During this time I have been focusing strongly on being positive and changing my attitude towards swimming. That meant that anytime I had a swim on the schedule I was going to focus on being excited about the swim, and believing that it would be a good swim.
Remember when you were a kid and got at trouble in school and you had to write lines? The idea being that if you write on repeat something it will become ingrained in your brain and transfer into daily life. That is exactly what I did. Almost every day since I started my I Love Swimming Campaign I would write a couple lines of positive thought regarding swimming; I Love Swimming, I am a strong swimmer, I love swimming, I believe I am a good swimmer, I am a good swimmer.
Honestly, when I started this campaign I was pretty skeptical if it would work. I do believe strongly in positive message and mindset being important in the actions of our life yet my struggle with swimming was running so deep in my veins that I thought well this is a long shot but I’m going to take it.
While I made the conscious decision to change my mindset towards swimming it did not just change overnight and I found that I was still catching myself thinking negatively towards swimming. When I would catch myself thinking or feeling this way I would purposely say I LOVE SWIMMING, even if I wasn’t feeling that way at the time.
Within one week of starting this mindset change I started to notice a change. Previously when I would leave the pool I would be so cranky, mad at myself, and beyond frustrated yet now I was leaving the pool being happy with the set I did, even if it didn’t go as planned. Slowly the negativity towards my abilities was starting to change, and by the second week this mindset change started to show in my speed in the pool.
With the negative thoughts becoming more and more infrequent I found that I was actually able to focus on the technique issues I have in the pool. I started being able to feel the things I was doing wrong as well as feel when I was doing it correctly. Secondly, I found that the fatigue I was feeling during my swim workouts was decreasing as well; a weight was lifted off my shoulders and beginning to stop weighing me down.
This past week I had a swim that resonated with me the fact that this mantra and mindset change was working. I made it through the whole set with little fatigue and put up some of the fastest 100s I have ever put up in a continual state; 1:34, 1:32, 1:32, 1;33, 1:31 and finished my workout with a fast 1:25. I left the pool and immediately texted coach Heather that I finally had put up the times that I knew where inside me.
Training the mind is often the last thing that we all do in our professional and personal life yet it is one of our strongest tools. More than once life has showed me that if you just believe in yourself you really can accomplish anything , from getting through surgery, an eating disorder, getting hit by a car, to the low end of the Kona marathon along with many other moments throughout my 28 years of life. Each time I made that mindset change I realized it was my mind that got me through it so you would think that it would have been the first thing that I turned to when I was down and out about swimming.
Since making the change in my mindset regarding swimming I am noticing changes in other aspects of triathlon. Training in the winter in the Pacific Northwest is not pleasant and normally a big downer for me, yet since making the mindset change for swimming I am finding the negativity towards training in the dark, cold, rain, and indoors has decreased. Consequently my biking and running workouts have been spectacular; while the mindset change was geared towards swimming it has leached into everything else. Once again proving just how beautiful and strong the mind is.
I still have a long ways to go when it comes to swimming mentally, physically, and emotionally but I am really excited to see the changes that have come merely for changing my mindset. I plan on continuing this thought process and continue to keep my I Love Swimming campaign going as I know that two weeks is not enough time to make it permanent, but is enough time to begin the process. I look forward to seeing what this mindset change will continue to do.
For now its just I LOVE SWIMMING on repeat!!
PS: If you have any questions about my mindset change, what I did to initiate it, how I am managing it, or anything else regarding this change please let me know I would love to help you make a change too.