“I’m Not Going Out Like That”

Posted: July 23, 2016 in Uncategorized

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The body is capable of so much more than we think.  I’ve been obsessed with how I’m going to get my body ready to swim in 60 degree water with no wetsuit.  I’ve read lots of books and researched many acclimatization techniques.  But today, a week out from the start of my swim window for the English Channel relay, I’ve circled all the way back around to what I knew from the start.  The mind-body connection is strong.

Yes, it’s important to do the cold water drills.  But equally important to recognize the roll the mind plays in all of this.  Every time I think about the risk of getting hypothermia during a cold water swim, I think to myself, “I’m not going out like that. That’s not me. No way.”  I don’t even take that thought into my subconscious brain.  I reject it immediately, and I say it out loud if I have to, “Absolutely NOT!”

One of the greatest sources of strength we have is to tap into the unlimited reservoir of imagery.  A technique used by the top athletes in the world, when we visualize the feeling we want, our body responds.

Start by visualizing exactly what you expect from your body, from start to finish.  If you can recall an event from your past when you had strength and success, tap into that. It’s as if you’re saying to your brain, “Forget what you know, trust this feeling I’m sending you.”

Funny thing is, as I begin this process, sometimes a sneaky smile rolls across my face because it feels like I’m up to no good.  (It’s that smile you get when you’re about to go skinny dipping in someone else’s pool!)  It feels like I’m about to do something clandestine, because I  know the secret code or something.  But this is the secret code!!

When we allow our mind to tell our body what we expect from it, our body will respond.

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Today I sunbathe, absorbing the warm rays of the sun deep into my skin.  I capture this moment, and save it for later when I will need it for a training swim.  Like tomorrow… when I jump in Puget Sound for a sub-60F swim.

So now that I have a plan for tomorrow… it’s probably time to tackle the jellyfish.  I need to figure out a way to minimize my “freak-out” response.  As always…I’m open to your suggestions! 🙂

Peace Out,
Kate

 

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