The influx of new swimmers to our pool and questions to my inbox is as certain in January as writing the wrong year in the date. The other condition that seldom changes at the start of every season is the barriers to breakthroughs that we create for ourselves.
I believe in 3 core principals in the water: Balance, Power and Peace. While group workouts, coaching and video feedback can help with one and two the Peace part is literally in your own head. Obtaining the focus and awareness required to control a response to chaotic conditions or even the last 50 of an all-out 200 free can prove as demanding and elusive as making the interval of the next lane over. Repeated exposure to a condition that scare us can slowly help us develop a positive response to a specific situation. Developing the ability to consciously choose our response to uncomfortable situations can help us whether we are having an experience for the first time or the hundredth.
For 2015 my training log now records a regular practice of guided, mindfulness meditation. Thoughts and emotions can quickly spin out of control when we are confronted with any challenging experience. For me some scarey moments off the coast of Australia in November showed that if I learn how to choose how I respond to perceived chaos then I am no longer my own worst enemy.
I am already encouraged by how much faster the finish line is arriving when I follow the black line and not the scattering of random thoughts, fears and distractions.
Want to learn more? Check out Dharma Punx’s Noah Levine’s guided podcasts HERE. Come here Michelle and Bruckner co-present at the Endurance Sports Expo in Philly the weekend of Feb 21 & 22.