What am I actually afraid of...?
This week will see my first foray into Open Water swim racing as part of a team at the Jubilee Swim - although the team I'm in are mainly first timers we all want to do well. But what does that actually mean and what am I afraid of!
Well I'm not afraid of swimming my 1.9K route and I'm not that worried about the fact it will be my first mass start and all the elbows and kicks that can bring. I know that I do not panic in water and that if I do get my goggles knocked off or hit on the head I will give myself the time to deal with it - this has made it sound all a bit dangerous at the start and I am actually expecting it to go smoothly!
So what am I afraid of..?
Not swimming quickly enough... enough for what... this spiral of thinking has no real answer because at the moment I have no true benchmark for what I'm about to do - it's my first time so surely whatever time I get just is the time I get! What I need to do is change how I think about it and what would be more useful to think is...
How do I give my best?
To give my best in that moment on my swim and to give the best I can in preparing for that swim. This is now something I can control, because it doesn't rely on anyone or anything outside of my control, it relies on me.
This isn't about trying my best and leaving room for 'could have done more, should have done this' but actually giving it my all and coming out at the end thoroughly tired and happy (and then realise I need to get some running gear on to jog the rest of the 8K down the river to cheer on my team mates!)
What I will keep in mind is this quote
Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance simply do your best and you will avoid self judgement, self abuse and regret.
Miguel Angel Ruiz, Author
Very often we need to go past what we think we are afraid of to face what's actually holding us back, in my case the feeling of letting the team down and embarrassment of a swim time that's 'not as good' as others - the problem being those I'm comparing myself to have been training harder, for longer and more specifically than me and so the comparison just isn't equal - and anyhoo I'm an Ultra Runner, not a swimmer!
So what are you going to give your best to this weekend?