This morning my endurance swim workout did just that, tested my endurance. It was a 2,500 meter swim with a 1,800 main set made up of 6 repeats of 150 meters, 100 meters, and 50 meters. The goal is to increase the pace every two sets within the 6 repeats. I did my flip turns through my warm up and the 150’s. By my second 100 I was flopping all over the place exhausted so I stopped flip turns for the last 4 100’s and picked it back up on the 50’s. It occurred to me while I was swimming, I had to just keep swimming. If this were open water and I had 1.2 miles to swim, I had to go forward or quit. With no good reason to quit, I pushed on. I was forced to be strong.
At lunch today I pulled out my Kindle app on my iPhone and snuck in a little reading. I am almost finished with the book I read on vacation. The last thing I expected to read was a quote that defined my workout this morning, but there it was on my screen:
Sometimes the fact that you were forced to be strong was enough to actually turn you into what you had to be. – JR Ward from Lover Avenged
How is that for multiple applications? My vampire romance fiction book taught me a lesson in swimming. In a triathlon, the swim is in open water. The majority of a triathlete’s training is done in a pool with walls to push off of, a floor to put your feet down on, and 25 to 50 meters at most to consider if you want to stop. This is not the case in open water. You look for the next buoy and keep swimming. Many people become overwhelmed and start swimming breast stroke, back stroke, or even tread water for a bit. More often than not, they pull it together and finish. When it is time to give up, the kayak comes for you. If you don’t want to ride in a kayak, then you have to get the swim training in and turn into what you have to be – a distance swimmer.
This also goes back to what I have believed for a while now. We are capable of so much more if we only put our all into it with determination and practice. It is not easy, the hardest and best lessons aren’t. When forced to be strong, we truly can be come what we have to be – for me – a triathlete determined to swim 1.2 miles under 40 minutes.