Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's amazing. . . .

How quickly old thoughts can creep back into your head when you've been doing so well with everything.

That happened to me today. On my schedule for working out I had a 1750 swim with no stopping.

You remember my blog post about switching to smaller, tinted goggles, well I was wearing those today. I no longer keep my big goggles on the edge of the pool because I felt like it was just a security blanket, giving me to ok to go back to them, so they were in my bag in the locker room. It was dark and snowing when I left the house, the lighting in the pool is not that great, so it was darker in the pool area, and my goggles kept fogging up.

I started my swim and realized very quickly that I was feeling a little claustrophobic in the water. I stopped after the first 100, for about 30 seconds, told myself not to stop, started again, went another 100 and then stopped again. Told myself to not stop anymore and got going again and started to get panicky in the water. I told my self several times to go and get my big goggles, but I didn't. My mind was racing while swimming. I started to tell myself, "Who do you think you are thinking you can do an Ironman? People like you don't do Ironman races. Look at that guy next to you, that's who does Ironman." Things like that. The pool was very crowded today and people came in and were asking other people if they could share a lane and no one was asking me, so then the negative voice popped in my head and was saying, "No one is asking you cause your still so fat."

I made it to 950 yards before stopping again and was ready to call it a day and go home. I was having trouble breathing (thanks to a ventilation system that keeps breaking), I was having some panic with how dark everything was, and for some reason all that stupid negative talk was popping in my head. I stood there about 1-2 minutes. Talking to myself, out loud, "Ok, if you are a quitter, just get out of this pool, right now and go home. When you are in an Ironman, it will be dark in the water, you will feel panicky, what are you gonna do, get out of the lake and call it a day? I don't think so. Just get swimming and deal with it. You're fine. You can do this. Now get swimming and now looking back." I am proud to say that I started swimming and did the rest of my swim without stopping, with flip turns. It was still dark in the pool, my tinted goggles were still fogging up and I just imagined myself in a triathlon swimming and telling myself that I deserved to be healthy and deserved to be an Ironman triathlete and no more negative thoughts came back while I finished my swim.

It was amazing to me how quickly my old way of thinking just popped into my head and how I almost let it get to me. I need these days every once in awhile, so I do not forget who I was and where I came from, but more importantly who I am becoming because the old me would have gotten out of the pool at 950 yards. I would have used my panic and self doubt as excuses to get out of the pool. I would have let all those negative thoughts take over and today I DID NOT. I overcame and I finished swimming in fact I did more than I was supposed to. I was supposed to swim a 1750 today and ended up doing 2500 total that includes some kicking and the use of pull buoys, but I did 2500 yards and grew emotionally and mentally in the process.

I am a new athlete.

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