My training this morning went really well! You know how I’ve said that I just couldn’t make 4km/h my average pace? Well I’m getting a whole lot closer! 🙂
So today I had to swim 5x400m in 5:45/5:50 leaving every 6:15 (to give you an idea: 6:00 for 400m is 4km/h) which meant that I had to swim faster than 4km/h. After that 6x200m in 3:00/3:10 leaving every 3:20 and then 30x50m leaving every 50 seconds. The last two exercises required me to swim around 4km/h.
Naturally I was quite stressed about it.. I woke up pretty grumpy and tired and I thought: how am I going to do this? Surprisingly enough it went pretty well! I was quite happy and impressed by myself; I was motivated and determined to reach these times and so I did! 🙂
Also, I really needed this win. I’ve been having a lot of doubts about this lately. I am struggling an enormous amount mentally. Everything comes on top of each other and they all strengthen each other.
I have chosen to do this because I want to prove to myself that I’m capable of doing something great. I’m just hoping that it will make me feel worth at least something because I feel pretty worthless. But I know that once achieved this it won’t bring the feeling I’m looking for. I have to fix my insecurities before I can truly proud of this accomplishment and not the other way around.
So then why am I doing this? I haven’t been enjoying the swimming lately, I don’t feel like I’m doing it with passion, I feel like there are so many mountains for me to climb before I’m ready and once I have accomplished it I won’t feel like I impressed myself.
I have sincerely considered to just stop because I don’t have a reason to do this.
However, as I’m writing this it feels like bullshit. Someone dear to me said that even if I still feel worthless once I’ve completed the Channel this will be something to be proud of for a lifetime. This is not just a five minutes of glory moment but an achievement that very few people can say they’ve done. Pride and happiness concerning this achievement will come once I’ve truly learned to appreciate myself.
So really I have no excuse. There are just some things I have to do that I don’t look forward to: I have to talk to my coach.
I find it extremely difficult to talk to him about how I’m doing. He’s also training other people: Maarten van der Weijden, for example, who has won an olympic gold medal, has done a double crossing over the Channel and is now training to swim De Elfstedentocht (200km). My coach also has many, many more people to train and help towards their goal.
I also see that people who are doing similar schedules or have similar goals that they are so much further than me and are getting better results. It makes me feel incompetent and I’ve been deadly afraid to tell Marcel that I’m struggling so much because I’m afraid he’ll tell me I’m a hopeless case. I don’t want him to be disappointed in me…
Simultaneously I feel like I’m working my ass of and that I’m not working hard enough. I’m always tired for example but I still go swimming five times a week for two hours despite that. But I also feel like I’m using that tiredness as an excuse to not have to swim as hard.
Besides that I’m just worried about loads of things. The cold, that I still haven’t gotten over my fear of open water swimming, that I don’t know how to swim in the sea and against the currents, that I’m not sure what to eat and drink and when, that I’m not able to swim for hours on end etc.
I really just have to talk to Marcel about all this actually and I will do that soon!
So yeah, it feels like there are more downs than ups but this training is something I really needed! I really needed to see that I am making progress and that I have gotten pretty far since I started. It’s easy to forget that because you’re so focussed on what’s ahead.
I am extremely glad with all the support that I’m getting. It really helps me to keep going and to not lose sight of my goal once I’ve had a setback. So thank you so much to all of those people! 🙂
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.