Friday, June 18, 2010

Steady as she goes

We are now into the part of our training that requires and allows for open water swimming. I have serious issues with the open water. I worked on this last year and continue to work on it this year. I can get in the pool and swim for an hour. Put me in the open water and I panic. Not so much panic, but certainly feelings of anxiety. If we are going to swim at night, I worry all day long about it, I try to get out of it, I hope for pouring rain and lightning! Mornings aren't so bad, mostly because I don't have time to worry so much.

This week we have swam two times and will swim a third tomorrow. Once I get in the water, I calm down and seem to settle into a groove. My mind will play tricks on me every so often and I feel a bit of the panic creep in. Then I remind myself that I am capable of swimming and I calm back down.

I was telling my friend Doug about my anxiety issues. He said that I always seem so steady and he has never detected the anxiety. Then he went on to say that my ability to push myself out of my comfort zone in so many parts of my life is something he admires about me. I think that may be one of the best compliments I have ever received.

I realized that I wanted to be the way Doug sees me. I wanted to be steady. Since he made those comments, I have been focusing on being steady and enjoying my ability to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Every time I get in the water, I am pushing myself WAY outside my comfort zone. I have to fight back all kinds of negative thoughts running through my head. Every time I get out of the water, I feel proud. I remember that two years ago, I couldn't even swim one length of the pool. Now, I go swim a mile in the open water as an "easy" training day.

This morning when I was swimming, I thought of Doug saying that I was steady and I smiled...underwater, to myself....and I just kept going. Thanks Doug. I needed that.

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