Wow, today was an absolute revelation! Do you remember the day you "became" a runner? I do. It was September 14, 2006. I had been walking in the mornings for almost a year, trying to lose some weight and not seeing any results. Somewhere around the first of September, I convinced myself to give running a little try. So I ran a few steps, then walked a lot of steps, and in about two weeks made it to about the half-and-half mark. But on the morning of September 14th, I just kept going. I wanted to walk, I thought about walking, but I also wanted to see just how far I could run. I made it a whole mile. This causes me to laugh now, but at the time it was huge! Bigger than huge, in fact. It was nothing short of life-changing.
Today's swim was that sort of a swim for me - revolutionary. I've been thinking a lot lately about my swimming, trying to figure out a way around my mental block. I've competed at triathlon before and I swim every summer, but the fact is, I pretty much half-ass my way through swim workouts. My mental talk goes something like this: "OMG, I'm going to drown. I can't breathe. When am I going to make it to the wall? Thank god! ONE. OMG, I'm going to drown. I can't breathe..." and so on. Not really conducive to a great swim, is it??
So item #1 on my list of How to Improve My Swimming was practicing constructive self-talk. I do this all the time when I'm running, why not while I'm swimming? Today's mantra was relax. And it totally worked!! Every time I started to feel myself thrashing or panicking, I just reminded myself to relax. My breathing came easier, my strokes were smoother, and even though I'm sure I was swimming slower (if that's even possible), I felt wonderful the whole time I was in the water. I made it 800 meters and actually wanted to go further but knew I had a day of furniture moving and painting ahead of me.
I'm so excited!! May 31, 2010: the day I became a swimmer.