Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mental Toughness

My motto lately has been "uncomfortable never hurt anyone." Its a good motto for me, especially at the pool. With swimming, for the longest time I had always erred on the side of caution. I didn't have confidence yet, at least not like I do with running.

But thats been changing these past couple weeks, in case you couldn't tell. Now, I know what it feels like to have lactic acid build up in my arms. I know when I'm actually pushing too hard, and need to slow down and recover. I know that to get better, I have to push a little. I know I'm not going to drown. I know uncomfortable never hurt anyone, but pushing through discomfort sure can make the difference.

Today's swim wasn't planned to be remarkable. In fact, looking at the numbers it is anything but remarkable. I swam a mile, as usual. I didn't swim more than 400 yards at a time, less than usual. I swam part kind of fast, but that isn't what made today stand out.

I got in the pool today, swam my first 400 and my arms were shot. Especially my triceps. My God, my triceps. I kept going at it, because thats all I know how to do. Around 1000 yards, my arms were demolished.

I took a short break after that, stretched out and what not. I got back in, swam another 100 and thought about quitting for the day. I came up with a dozen excuses. They were all logically sound in my head. I could leave early almost feeling like I had a reason, and not an excuse.

But... I couldn't do it. I couldn't consciously make the decision to get out of the pool. What would I do? Sit around for 20 minutes before class started because I couldn't finish a workout? Yeah, I can't do that to myself. That would be like putting myself in time out to think about what I'd done. That was a no go.

So I swam. I counted down the yards. I took more rest than I have in several days. But damnit, I finished my workout and nobody can take that away now. Not even me.

Count it!


Marcy said...

My husband uses that line a lot ""uncomfortable never hurt anyone." ROFLMAO I'm KIDDING!

Awesome job homie!

Nancy said...

Nice grit and determination. Sounds like the arms might need a rest day. You are going to be so dang strong after all this swimming. YRMFO!!

nwgdc said...

have your fingers begun to web yet? any signs of gills?

Jess said...

I'll have to remember that motto. Pain = bad. Uncomfortable = okay.

Bill Carter said...

Sometimes you've just got to gut it out.. and that is just what you did. You know you've had those kind of runs before where your just not feeling it, but you did it anyway. You've applied that to your swimming and I'm happy for you.

Somtimes you've got to just...


Best of luck with getting that body all healed up and getting back onto dry land.

Run For Life said...

Woohooo! That's always such GREAT satisfaction to push through a mental wall. I hope your knee realizes that you've been good to it and that it appreciates the space from running and biking. Give it a pep talk before the test run/bike just in case. :P

Nibbles said...


Have you considered using some TI-style strokes and drills for a day or two and just swimming a little more gently to take the load off your arms? When I feel like my arms are going to fall off, I find that rolling over into "sweet spot" for 10 seconds or so really helps.

Jes said...

Aw, I really need to get back in the pool and try to overcome that fear... thanks for the inspiration! Hope you are well!