Wednesday, December 09, 2009

BIG goggle vs. SMALL goggles and how I overcame

Sometimes we do things a certain way in life just because that is the way we have always done it. It's comfortable. It works. Why try a new way when we are fine with how we've always done it? This fact reminds me of a story.

There was a lady who would always cut off the ends of her ham before putting it into the pan. Her daughter, ovvserving this, asked her why she did this. Her mom answered, "because that is how your grandma does it." She went to her grandma and asked her. She answered, 'because that's how your great grandma always did it." She went and asked her great grandma and she answered, "I do it that way because my pan is too small and to get it to fit I need to cut off the ends."

There was a logical reason in the beginning for the ends of the ham to be cut off, but as the years went by and pans got bigger there was no reason to continue to cut off the ends of the ham. It's just what this family knew, what was comfortable for them, what was done, no questions asked.

Recently, someone asked me why I use the Big Aqua Sphere goggles when I swim. The answer was easy, "because I'm claustrophobic in the water and I've always swam with BIG goggles. That's how I'm comfortable in the water." That was an answer I have given several times. That's just how it is. I've been wearing BIG goggles for pretty much my whole triathlon career. That's 3 years. There is no reason for me to change now. I don't want to take a chance and mess things up, afterll, I have come so far in the pool and with my swimming. Why would I chance it, right? I'm good and anyway, I'm claustrophobic in the water, or am I?

Last week I couldn't find my BIG goggles. I always put them inthe same gym bag pocket. They were not there. I realized I had left my swim class in a hurry to get home and left them on the bench in the locer room, so before my next class I checked both lost and founds and found nothing. I was starting to worry. What would I do? How would I swim without my BIG goggles?

I always keep a spare pair of goggles in my gym bag. They are a very SMALL, tinted, not clear and BIG, and remember, I'm claustrophobic in the water. WIth no BIG, clear, goggles in sight I put on my SMALL, tinted, goggles. I did this with some hesitation and with some anxiety. I went under the water and because of the tint it was a lot darker under there then usual. I went under a second time and pushed off the wall and was on my way.

I was as strong as ever. I was doing it. With no more anxiety in sight I was on my way. I wanted to finish 500 yards before my swim coach arrived. I was almost done when she came to the edge of the pool and got my attention. She said, "Hey, Melissa, Val found your goggles in the locker room on Monday. She'll be bringing them today!" I was so excited that my goggles had been found. I swam away, still wearing my SMALL goggles and finished my last 100 yards. I was very happy about my BIG goggles being found, but as I finished that last 100 yards I started to wonder, did I need my BIG goggles anymore?

At my largest I was 306 pounds. I've always done things a certain way. I realized I have gotten pretty comfortable with how I have done things. Afterall, that's how I do things. Why change? It's been working for 3 years for me. I didn't need to change. Maybe I didn't want to change. If you change you have to step up and accept new challenges. Was I ready for new challenges or did I just want to keep doing things that way I had done them up until now. I didn't know. It was a lot to think about.

Val came in with my BIG goggles. I quickly changed goggles and swam another 50 and realized that I did not like how they felt anymore. I put my SMALL goggles back on and finished my workout. What was happening? I've always been claustrophobic in the water. I've always needed BIG,clear, goggles. That is who I have always been as a swimmer. I was scared, I was nervous. What did this mean? How would this change me. As I swam 2550 yards that day in my SMALL, tinted, goggles something changed in me in a BIG way.

I have swam a couple times since this day. I have my BIG goggles on the side of the pool and swim with my SMALL goggles on. I want to keep those goggles in sight while I swim. To me my BIG goggles signify me when I was 306 pounds. When I was less confident, scared, and anxious. I will always be grateful to those goggles for helping me get over the fear of putting my face in the water. I did my first flip turn in those goggles. I swam 1000 yards without stopping in those goggles, but now I am a new person. I have lost 70 pounds. I have a new excitement in my training, in my being, in who I am becoming. I do not need to cling onto the old me. I do not need to do things JUST BECAUSE that's how I've always done them. That is not me anymore. Coach Bob, keeps telling me I'm a new athlete and today in the pool I am more than ever. I have retired my BIG goggles, but I will never forget them. I will never forget who I was, but I will never go back there. I have retired the old me and am excited about who I am today and who I am becoming. Will there be hard days in the pool? Yes. Will I have hard days with my training? Yes. Will I have hard days with my eating? Yes. However, this time I will react differently. I will not let those hard days get me down. I will never look at life through BIG goggles again. I look forward to and welcome challenges and look forward to the outcome.

Watch out world. I'm on my way.


Bob Mitera said...

Outstanding! You are ready to see some of the hardcore training to take you to the next level. We have momentum!

M said...

this is one of your best posts - it is about so much more than the goggles. rather, it's about what we have all watched for the last two years - you breaking through all the mental blocks you once had, all the mental hurdles that once kept you from reaching goals. its like every day is a new goal, a new accomplishment - saying goodbye to the big goggles is like saying goodbye to the old Melissa.

So proud of you !

Mommymeepa said...

Awwwww thanks M. I have appreciated your support more than you'll ever know. I heart you. :-)

Coach, I'm ready for whatever you throw my way. Bring it on.