I create white water as I surge forward, my arms slicing effortlessly through the placid pool before me. I love this feeling, the water gliding across my skin as my legs propel me to the end of the pool. After two laps, the feeling of joy subsides. What was effortless now becomes painfully enervating. As I struggle to lift my arms and start breathing every couple strokes, I look towards the pool wall with longing. With each stroke, I count how many I still need to take and make promises to myself. Just four more strokes… three more now… two more until the wall… you’ve made it! That was your last lap. Of course, after hanging on the edge of the pool breathing hard for about a minute, you trick yourself into doing just one more lap. And repeat. Until you feel your legs aching. And you decide to cut it short so you can still lift yourself out of the pool.
I’m not an athletic person. But swimming used to be my thing. My mom would sign us up for our community swim team every summer, so it’s the only sport I could say I’ve experienced success in.
I used to warm up with four laps. Today I started to feel tired after two, and struggled to finish eleven.
I had similar experiences when I would start training at the beginning of the summer. I didn’t train all year, so at the beginning of summer it would be like starting off from scratch. Of course, practices were longer, harder, and happened every morning with a team.
Athletic training is all about pushing your boundaries. The same tactics utilized in sports can be applied in real life situations to bring about other types of change.
Training is demanding (both physically and mentally), requires constant effort, and at first shows little signs of improvement. Trying to make personal changes in your life is the same way.
Whether you are trying to kick a bad habit, or become a better person, you will find that it is easier said than done. Trying to do these things will be difficult, time-consuming, and initially appear to reap little benefits. Trying to achieve your goals will also prove to require constant attention and effort. A person does not reach their fitness goal by making it to the gym that one time. A person only achieves the results that they want when they have a schedule and stick to it.
Every time I feel like I’ve moved forward, I find that sooner or later I move two steps backward.
Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Like Dory said, I guess I have to “just keep swimming”.