Something clicked a couple days back.
I was just swimming one of the programs Marcel sent me: 4x1500m. Usually when I have to swim a long distance in one go I freak out. It’s exhausting and it takes ages.
This time, however, that nagging voice that keeps on saying: ‘I’m tired’, ‘It’s too much’, ‘I can’t do it’, ‘It’s taking too long’ became quieter. It got overpowered by another voice: ‘Stop your fucking bullshit and just fucking swim goddamnit!’
The morning before this training I had a psychologist-light appointment. We talked about the swimming a lot. That I often felt like I wasn’t capable of doing it, that I actually don’t have enough faith in myself, that I feel like I’m not working hard enough, that I feel like I’m disappointing my coach when I say I’m having a hard time mentally, that I’m afraid he’ll say we should just quit because I won’t ever be able to swim across the Channel.
I usually do all my trainings alone. My coach doesn’t sit by the sidelines, he sends me my programs and I just have to complete them. I don’t swim with others, I do it all myself.
This all sounds pretty depressing but it was a good talk. She told me that I should maybe find someone else to guide me. Someone who I could connect better with and to whom I wouldn’t be afraid to ask for help or tell that I’m having a hard time. I had never thought that to be an option but thinking there was an alternative released some pressure.
So back to the training. I put down some pretty good results. I went across a barrier again. One of the 1500’s I had to break up into three parts 500m at 80%, 500m at 85% and then 500m at 90%. My times for that were 7:40, 7:33, 7:16 and I was pretty proud of that!
You see, my progress isn’t a steady upward trend. It’s more like a staircase. I stay at one level for a while and then there’s a big instant increase where I’m suddenly capable of so much more.
My aim for now is to swim 4km/hour on average. Sometimes I have to work insanely hard to get close to that speed and other days I swim that easily. To give you a bit of an idea: for 100m that’s 1:30, for 500m that’s 7:30 and for 1km that’s 15:00. I just can’t get that to be my steady speed yet..
The third training I did today. I had some personal issues to keep me busy. I just have conversations with people in my head and it makes time fly by. Swimming long distances can really help clear your mind. There are no distractions and you stay in a rhythm.
When I really struggle with something I think about a lot of possibilities and I try to view it from every angle. It’s quite meditative sometimes and after a while I get this little epiphany moment. It just becomes really clear what I have to do.
So if you want to get a solution to a problem you’ve been having a while, just go swim until you’ve figured out! 😉
I am a nineteen-year-old girl from Baambrugge, a tiny village near Amsterdam, with big ambitions. I like to set big goals for myself, I like to explore my own boundaries and see if I can expand them.