I have a long way to go when it comes to swimming.  I am the first to admit that my form is sloppy, and I still struggle a little to time my breathing right.  But, I am making tremendous progress.  Today I did three consecutive laps.

The most important thing that I have learned in all of my training is that the mental aspect of the sport is key.   Tonight, for example, I decided that I would run two lap intervals again.  Each time I tried to do two laps, I would get to the end of the first lap and just be too tired to continue.  I would push off and then just not feel like I could finish the second lap.  This happened repeatedly.

I kept trying to justify my reasons for not doing two laps.  Oh I swallowed water I need to recover.  Oh the last time was a fluke, I just can’t do more than one lap.  Oh I’m moving too fast I need to be realistic.

But I didn’t want to leave without doing the two consecutive laps.  I just needed to do it.  I thought back on my first few times of spin class.  I was tired, panting and thought I couldn’t go on, but I did.  I told myself that this is no different.  I started my swim and took slow controlled strokes.  I made it one length without any trouble at all.  I took the turn and finished the lap, paused for a second or two to take a few breaths and then continued with lap two.  I made it all the way through the second lap!  I did that once more.  Each time I focused on my slow controlled stroke.  I focused on rotation and being streamlined, and just let my body glide forward with each stroke before taking the next one.

After the second two lap run, I decided to go for three.  I did the same thing as before.  Nice and easy strokes.  I focused on my breathing (more on breathing in a future post) as well and learned a little something in the process.  For the entire set I could feel my shoulders burning.  I could feel how hard it was to just lift my arm for the recovery stroke.  As I finished my third lap I stood up and felt this amazing surge of pride.  I realized that I really could do it!  Once again, I’m so proud of myself.  I’m not breaking any records for sure, but I am learning a ton about how to swim, how important the it is to be mentally strong, and I am hopefully getting ever closer to perfecting my form.

The good news about your brain is that the power it has over you to stop your progress is equal to the power it has to make you succeed.  If you can train yourself to only listen to the positive and motivational thoughts, you can and will do anything.  This is beyond the sport, this is how to approach life.  A positive mind will exude confidence, and that will change your life.  I have always felt that anyone can do anything.  These triathlon experiences are only proving me right!