By Deon Richter
When you are empowered you are in charge, and even if things seem to go wrong on the surface, underneath you know that you have the power to deal with it effectively. So Act from now!
Putting on goggles
Goggles are used for the obvious- Protecting the eyes, allowing you to see into the ,usually, unseeable. Often it’s more than just protecting yourself for a clearer vision - rather to put things into clearer perception and maybe even looking at things from other point of views. ALthough you decided to proceed with the task, before the push comes, allow yourself to always see the journey clearer. I mean, seeing the outcome in a swim is not possible with the best goggles, but goggles surely will allow you to see each stroke and effort that gets you there. Clearer vision is not about doubting your initial plan, it’s simply allowing you to view circumstances around you that might affect your goal , sooner rather than later.
Pushing myself from the side
Momentum is a way that streamlines the body faster, so that it can swim more efficiently sooner. Sometimes we want to ease, way too slowly, into things. And although , like with swimming, it will get the job done, very often you can feel entrapped by “too slow momentum” that you find yourself not streamlined or opting out when it gets too difficult to get proper return for energy put in.
Your goal should always be to streamline your agenda with full force as soon as possible.
But the stroke to follow should be timed perfectly with this, otherwise you sink faster , unexpectedly and it will cost you way more than you set out to pay.
Staring at my hands / tilesWhen swimming (pool swimming) you have two options:
- Do I stare at my hands?
- Do I stare at the tiles?
Both occupy the mind, the difference is , what is focusing on where you are now and the other focuses on where you are going while focusing on what you are doing to get there. Don't get caught only in the now. You will get bored and discouraged . Rather focus on where you are heading, while focusing on what you are doing to get you there. This will put you in a place to actively think and immediately act on how you can improve your efficiency to get there with less hassle and less drag.
Focusing on strokes
It comes down to what you are doing and how you are doing it. We tend to just do things to get them done. Yes. We do get them done. Sometimes we lack quality or we simply feel exhausted. Swimming teaches us that regardless of your capacity or ability to complete the distance, in order to do it better, faster or more efficient, you need to slow things down and actually witness what you are doing, put in perspective why you are doing it in that way and analyze to see if the energy input gives you the fastest propel forward. Not only faster, but less tired.
Focus on what matters most. And focus where your energy (Active and awareness) are placed to get you there.
Focusing on breathing
You need air to breathe, you need it to survive. The logical statement. However , in swimming it's not only about gasping for air, but truly streamlining it to not miss out on a stroke or get the body out of rhythmic movement. Timing is crucial. YES you need to be hard on yourself in knowing that without the breaths you will burnout or “drown’. However understanding the timing of breaths, when and when not to allow for you to truly just have it in you to propel and like with swimming it truly is something you can train.
Focus on it. Implement it and test it to see how it impacts your productivity flow.
Doing the laps
The only way you are getting to the goal is simply by taking each step. There will be shortcuts, but it does not add to the distance. Each effort and plan will get you there, the Journey might seem long, boring , tiring- but hear me when I say this: “At the end, you never even think about how you felt per lap”... The victory is worth it!
Take the road that you planned, yes maybe you will switch lanes, or maybe someone will join your lane or “race” you. But at the end, each lap still needs to be done. Take it on, you already took step 1, you are already here, push through.
Doing the distance
You fail when you don’t complete. Sometimes you think you have failed when you take too long. We are not racing yet, we are being productive. You have lost when you planned to do a mile swim, and ended at 1.2km. The ultimate productivity is taking something on and completing it. Planning to do something , preparing for it, starting it and then finishing it.
That’s the goal. Doing the distance you planned, Succeeding in the mind and reality.
Hydrating in between sets / afterwards
Hydrating simply means looking after yourself. Don’t get caught up with the action or task that you are so deep in and unable to look after yourself. When tired- sleep. When Hungry- eat, when not hungry- still it.
Sometimes, yes, we need to push through or sometimes we have the opportunity between sets/laps, regardless of that, make sure you recognize the time and act on it, but your well-being is up to you and no one else.
Exiting the pool
When you are done with a task, goal or assignment and have reached your predetermined goal or purpose. EXIT THE POOL. Make room for others to succeed. Take time to reflect. Do not sit in the ‘water’ thinking “what if”- You will have time for that, but first , Exit. Mark it as done, and then compare and check the stats.
Checking and comparing the stats
You can only do this when you are done.If you need to be hard on yourself then be hard on yourself. If you want to be unsatisfied then so be it. But do this when you are done. So that you can compare stats and performance based on the completed task, and track it back to see where you could've done it better.
Planning for the next swimTake the stats and reviews from your previous “swim” (Task, productivity assignment/Goal etc.) and Plan from scratch. Don't skip a step. Even if it was a success. We often grab the gym bag the next day thinking that everything is still in there. Arrive at the gym, guess what? My towel is on the laundry line, my wetsuit was rinsed off outside etc. Don’t assume. Start with a clean mind . Re-do. And take it one step at a time.
Your not drowning,
You got this.