As part of my knee rehab and to help prop up my fitness as well as keeping my waist line down, I decided to go and join the swim squad at Sydney Olympic Park.
Alarm was set for 3:30AM and after a 40 minute meditation and fueling my body with 2 litres of water, I headed for the pool.
The 15 minute drive was a mind battle.
There was a tug of war of “do I go for a swim or do I just go to the gym and do my regular rehab session?” On a couple of occasions I had convinced myself to skip the swim squad and make my way to the comfort of what I knew.
“I’m not a strong swimmer”.
“It might hurt my knee”.
“It’s too cold”.
“I should just go sit on the assault bike and burn some cals”.
All these valid excuses to suit my initial want to stay within my comfort zone and not step into the unknown. The other swimmers were all going to seem like Olympians compared to me and the thought of getting in my ‘budgie smugglers’ with my ‘dad gut’ wasn’t helping my cause. It would of been really easy to turn right onto George street off Pomeroy street and head for The Athletic Buddha headquarters. That would of been the easiest and safest thing to do.
Then I had a strong word to myself and I pulled myself into line. I had a saying pop into my head that drove me to keep heading straight for Underwood road and back on track with my new goal.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”.
I’m not even sure if that’s exactly how the saying goes but it worked at that moment.
So I arrive at the pool. I’m still feeling a little uncertain on where to go, I don’t have my goggles- who knows where the kids have hidden them, blah blah blah.
I arrive at the front counter, I ask to buy a pair of goggles. “I’m sorry, the shop is closed, you can ask the guys downstairs if they have a pair to lend you”.
So off I trot downstairs. I ask one of the staff if they have a spare pair of swim goggles to lend me and he asks me to follow him.
“We should have a pair, just give me a sec” he says.
2 minutes later he comes out of his office and says, “sorry we don’t seem to have any today”.
This was my chance to walk away. I tried to give it a go, but it was to hard. I even got past the entry gates- that’s good enough, right? I said to myself.
It wasn’t meant to be.
Then I stopped, turned around and walked 40 metres towards a guy who looked like he might be the coach. I asked him if he had a set of goggles for me to use. He started to look through his bag.
“Yeah mate, Here you go” as he pulled out my ticket to swim.
I quickly went upstairs, paid my entry and I was good to go.
4 laps into the session, I couldn’t help but feel grateful that I had persevered with my goal for the day. I had many legitimate opportunities to pull out of this self imposed deal but instead I decided to stay in my uncomfortable zone.
Today I was reminded that it’s good for me to get vulnerable. I learn and grow the most when I step outside my box and let my discomfort be the teacher as it guides me to something new and refreshing.
I loved every minute of the 75 minute session today. Even though I’m an ordinary swimmer and struggled with some of tasks I was lapping up the experience and felt a sense of aliveness.
I sucked at it but I didn’t give a shit. I’ll suck again next week and I’ll keeping suck-ing and build up my fitness along the way.
1.7km of swimming that could of very easily not have happened if I had given into my mind chatter of doing what I know and is comfortable.