Remember the first time you ran a mile without stopping?
Or better yet, remember the first time you ran a mile without stopping and felt like you could do it all over again? Yes, that time.
Well, yesterday I experienced that moment again, but this time in a different sport.
Today, after the warm-up and drills, I swam 20 laps without stopping and when I finished, I felt like I could swim 20 more. I was Rocky on top of those steps pumping my arms…sans the sweatshirt and heavy accent.
The first time I swam a few weeks ago, I thought I was going to have a mild panic attack in the midst of only eight laps. I stopped, had to catch my breath, and I feared that the 24 Hour Fitness staff may find me at the bottom of the pool. But yesterday it was a different story.
I’m in LA for work and noticed that my client has a 24 Hour Fitness right next door. Strangely, I forgot any shorts to run in (was going to test the hip out), but I brought my swim gear; thus, I headed for the pool. From the moment I jumped in and dunked my head under, I proceeded to find my groove.
For those of you that are experienced swimmers, runners, cyclists, or whatever, looking back at that moment when you accomplished the first step in your athletic future may make you giggle, but now that I’m experiencing it without any shame or embarrassment in a sport that I can confidently say is not my forte, I want to give myself a good ol’ pat on the back. I only swim two times per week and to me, this was excellent progress.
More importantly I want to remind everyone to not forget to celebrate even the smallest of accomplishments. It’s easy to peruse all of the endurance blogs out there and read about people your age running crazy mileage, swimming thousands of yards or completing Ironmans and feel a bit like you’re underperforming or not meeting your potential. But hey, as far as I’m concerned you have to start somewhere and just because I’m not swimming with Michael Phelps any time soon doesn’t mean that we can’t be proud of ourselves.
It’s like my dad always says, “It’s not about the goal — it’s about the journey.” So today, take some time to give yourselves a pat on the back too. We’re all taking those small steps to get to that end goal, but don’t forget to realize that the journey your on is amazing in and of itself.