Today’s record is tomorrow’s motivation

My heart starts to pound a little harder, I feel a shake in my hands and suddenly the nerves have me hopping out of the pool running for a pee. It feels like the beginning of a race, but really it’s just another one of my not-so favourite workouts, the 800m time trial swim. As I hop back in the pool and find more reasons to put off the task, my swim partner and I finally agree that once the green hand on the giant clock hits the top, we go. During the quiet of the public afternoon swim on a Saturday we are afforded the luxury to split the lane and just like that I have an opponent; someone to chase.
As we count down to the final second, we charge forward moving the water like two hungry sharks. Out of the corner of my eye, I keep Tracy in my sights the whole way, and for the first 200 metres we are almost side by side. With each fierce kick off the wall I just keep telling myself to not let her go and my arms start to reach even further, stretching for as much pull as my shoulders will allow. I’ve already lost sight of the clock and my focus is narrowed in on closing gap between us. On some laps she pulls further ahead and on others I push closer. I loathe the times when I sense her picking up speed, but love the chase. I can start to hear involuntary gasps and gulps as I desperately turn up my kick and feel the burn in my legs and arms. There are even some moments I feel as if I’ll just pass out mid-stroke, but I’m so transfixed on chasing her down that I don’t even care. Finally, beneath the water I see her touch the wall, her legs sink down into the standing position, and then her voice echoes into the water yelling at me to push the last 10 metres. As I reach for the wall and come to a stop I feel the heat radiate off my face and my heart pounding like a drum inside my chest. Almost in unison as I look at my watch Tracy goes in for the high five with exclaims of, “that was awesome.” I crushed my previous time by one minute. The tiredness in my body is quickly replaced a burst of happiness and energy – I call it my Disneyland happy. The kind of happy where I might cry, I can’t stop laughing and my smile spreads so wide you almost lose my eyes. This is what training is all about. For almost eights months of the year, six days a week, twice a day, I swim, bike and run. I log hundreds of hours and thousands of miles in the snow, sleet, heat, rain and ice. It’s a long, tough road, and most workouts are not sunshine, rainbows and Disneyland moments, but when they do happen they feel pretty damn amazing. I’ve made the mistake in the past of holding onto my failures and forgetting to enjoy the ride. This past weekend was a reminder that this journey can be incredible and is meant to be incredible. Here’s to holding onto the good feeling for as long as possible, or until the next suffer grinder fest kicks me in the ass and coach wipes this dumb smile off my face.

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2 thoughts on “Today’s record is tomorrow’s motivation

  1. i love that feeling! I am always inspired when i watch my kids swim best times in practice or during a meet, when they know they have crushed it. Gets me every time, doesn’t matter if it’s me or them. keep rocking hard!

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