Step Up. Take Your Mark. Beep.

The last leg of my 100 fly was grueling.

Just as I finished 75 meters, I felt a sudden pressure tightening my leg and shoulder muscles, choking my breathing. And ultimately robbing my confidence as I watched swimmers pass me and my lead disappear. This was a pain I had never felt before.

If racing is “90% mental and 10% physical,” I had .05% physical left in my tank as I struggled to get my body moving in the water. WHAT is happening? WHY can’t I feel my arms? HOW do I get to the wall? I panicked. If the secret to swimming is keeping yourself loose and calm, my muscles were jelly and my mind laser focused on hitting the wall.

I finished feeling diminished, shocked, embarrassed. Embarrassed because I know I must of looked like an albatross that had gotten bit by some carnivorous underwater creature, struggling to fly away.  But I wasn’t flying. I fortunately I remembered my daughter was in the bleachers watching me. Fortunately, because I quickly composed myself and just smiled about the whole experience. Fortunately, because I had told her once that learning to lose was just as important as winning.

So when I was offered the opportunity to swim another 100 fly in a team relay, I took it. A more frightened me would have probably said HELL NO! But I did it for her. Because the previous swim was a freak incident and not a reflection of my skills. Because my team needed me to step up. Because, I had to get over my shit and my ego and get back on the block and take my mark.

Because, deep down, we are the same. We are fighters. Beep.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s