Hitting the wall is not something athletes ever want to do. Most frequently when the phrase “hit the wall” is used it is in reference to running and usually experienced somewhere between miles 17 through 24 of a marathon. I am working to get close enough to hit the wall – and push off of it. As in swimming and flip turns.
After my swim last night and again after my swim this morning I practiced my flips. The fear of going upside down in the water is gone. It has been replaced with the close proximity of the wall. I am getting closer and almost able to touch. Then there is what to do with my arms. The videos I watch show the swimmer placing their arms behind them, flip, and come out with their arms overhead like a bullet. My mind says arms back, my arms say out front, out to the side, or on the floor. I think I have this subconscious fear I will hit the wall and my arms go out to protect me. Similar to when a person stumble and the instinct is arms out to break the fall. As for the looks I get from the swimmers in the other lanes, vanity has gone out the window. Heck, I am swimming without my makeup and I have a cap on. They would never recognize me in street clothes.
But I have to look in the mirror everyday. I set goals this year when it comes to swimming. Two of the easiest (or so I thought) were to overcome my fear of flipping in the water by the end of January (check) and to be able to flip while swimming my warm up by the end of February. That is only two weeks away. Boy am I glad it is leap year, I get an extra day to reach my goal…. I am careful about setting goals, I strive to improve so I don’t make them easy, but I do make them attainable. I would not set a goal to qualify for Boston this year since I have to trim an hour and 20 minutes off of my PR for my marathon. But breaking a 4 hour in a few years? Possible if I want to reach it. So I set goals that also align with my passions, goals that may be a bit of a stretch, but I want it. And this I want. So dedication is going to overcome fears, and I will do it.