Jan 042013

SwimmingJoyOk, so we are into a New Year, and that always brings out resolutions. Doesn’t it seem like resolutions are about guilt? “I want to exercise more” implies you don’t exercise enough. “I want to lose weight” implies you think you weigh too much. For us swimmers, our resolutions might be along the lines of: “I want to swim more yards”, “I want to swim more practices”, “I want to swim a 200 fly this year.” (Strike me out of that last one – no way!)

And to make matters worse, I just heard on the news that 80% of the people who start their year with the resolution “I want to exercise more” (and then head to their local gym) drop out around 8 weeks. Yikes! Let’s just pile on some more guilt about that.

The longer you’ve been away from the water, the more challenging it is to get back in. Don’t agonize, don’t think about it, just do it! Enough with the guilt. Climb in and give yourself permission to take it easy those first few swims back at the pool. Lots of rest between sets, and sets that focus on drills and technique. Throw away the clock the first week to two weeks. There will be plenty of time to check back in with how slow or fast you are swimming. For now, allow yourself to play in the water. Refresh your memories about why you love swimming. Do some water handstands, swim underwater, blow bubbles, jump off the diving board, do somersaults! Wear fins! Pull out all the toys! If it doesn’t have an element of fun or enjoyment, you’ll probably fall by the wayside. Get back to the pool and fall back in love with swimming. You’ll love yourself for it and your body and mind will love you for it.