Tomorrow, I am back at the Lake with the Expert and Coach Monster. I tried to tell Coach M that I didn’t want him to bother coming, but he insisted. He’s a pushy SOB. I was thinking that I would be easier without him there – that maybe I would be calmer in the head – not trying to impress him. Or disappoint him. Or make jokes at myself. Finally, I gave in. We are meeting him at the Lake around 7am tomorrow.
I realized too… that this is not about Coach Monster, the Expert, or impressing anyone. This damn race is about me, my relationship with myself and having fun with this new sport.
As an update to my open water swim panics, I am feeling really calm about everything now. I hit All3Sports on Wednesday, and Miss Teeny helped me into a bigger wetsuit. She assured me that I would be fine with a looser suit, just because of the issues I am having with the pressure on my chest and shoulders (a/k/a the feeling of being buried alive). She gave me some great advice about the swim. The most poignant advice being: do not let a negative thought creep in your head during the swim. If you feel a negative thought coming, push it out. Sing a song, breastroke, but do not let negativity in.
I said, “Well, what if I am panicking?”
She said, “No no no. Don’t even say words like ‘panic’ and ‘fear’. Knock them out of your head now.”
Excellent advice. And Missy Teeny is right. I’ve been doing some super de-duper self-talk over the past few days, and it’s helped. Big time. I truly, truly believe that I am going to attack this swim, have a great race and be f-i-n-e.