I have to confess that I haven't been swimming for quite some time.
Part of my Stop! Start! Continue... assignment revealed that this was something I wanted to (re)start.
Did you know that the ego can get in the way and prevent you from fully benefiting or enjoying what it is you are doing? More so, if you were accustomed to a certain standard of excellence in the task you were doing, but because of age, illness or other factors, have had to accept a change in performance.
In what seems like another life-time now, I used to swim competitively and teach swimming. I know how to properly do and teach the front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke and the butterfly. I can even tell you how to do those out-of-fashion ones - the sidestroke and the elementary back stroke. However, fusions, surgeries and deteriorated joints have left their mark in how I now execute these strokes. Some, I can't even do anymore.
The other day, I had an aha in the pool. The struggle arose in my head. Perhaps you can relate?
"I used to be able to do this better." "Why can't I kick as fast as I did?" "That hurts when I do that." And on it went. I was being sabotaged and it was coming from within, or rather, "upstairs"! My ego was bruised because I was holding myself up to this standard that was no longer a fit for me and my life. Rather than enjoying the moment, I was wrapped up in a conversation an argument with myself.
I decided to practice some techniques and just let my body take over. I've covered enough miles over the years that my body knows exactly what to do. Immediately, I noticed an end of the struggle. The difference was remarkable! I even swam a little faster and with greater ease!
In the swim. In the flow. In the zone. Those timeless moments when skill, technique and conditioning all come together to make magic. Time for another round from the Aha Bar wouldn't you agree?
The best part is that you can practice this, so that you'll swimming circles around those moments! What it will it be, the Aha Bar or Oh No Bar? It's OK if you dog-paddle or even use an assistive device, like Auntie Stress!