Regress to Progress and don’t give up on your goal!
(Health Warning: I am about to ramble!)
So, you set yourself a goal and a deadline?
Things start well?
Then things don’t go to plan?
You think; “you know what, this really is all too hard and why on earth did I set that ‘stupid’ goal in the first place?”
Who cares anyway?
So what if I paid that years membership? I got some use out of it!
I’m OK anyway, what difference does this make?
Any of these sound familiar?
If so, or you know someone that perhaps this may resinate with, then please hear my story or pass it on.
Ask yourself this:
Does it really matter that I’ve exceeded the deadline I set myself for achieving my goal?
Is someones life at risk if I don’t achieve my set deadline?
Is my life at risk?
Does it really matter, that I may need to regress to progress?
Does it really matter, that I may need to ask for help to enable me to move forward to achieving my goal?
These are just some of the very questions that I have been confronted with over the last few weeks and months in my attempt to achieve my latest ‘goal’ that I set myself.
Here is my personal battle and journey that I’ve undertaken over the last 4 months (well maybe years if I am honest with myself) and Wednesday evening, quite unexpected and unplanned I achieved my goal!
I feel elated and so proud of what I’ve achieved.
It may not have been attractive or stylish in places but what the heck, I got there!
I know I did it so I can now work on ways to improve and continue with my progress.
For many this may be nothing, but for me, huge! As is any goal that we set yourselves, providing of course you have created a realistic, achievable and purposeful one. One to stretch and challenge your inner self but provide purpose.
We are so dismissive of the battles people face in their attempt to achieve something that is important to them. That goal may present itself in many facets across many genres.
If you’re bored already…that’s cool but please take away some important factors:
- Never ever give up on your goal;
- You set it for a reason;
- You may need to regress to progress;
- You may need to seek help;
- Be kind to yourself;
- Be supportive to yourself and others;
- Allow others in, so they may support you in your journey;
- Never ever be dismissive of what you or someone close to you is trying to achieve!
So here’s my story:
As a Health, Fitness and Nutritional Coach; yes, I like to keep myself fit and healthy. For the greater part I love to exercise and eat a pretty clean diet to keep myself looking and feeling good.
What I place in my mouth has a direct effort on how my body responds and it is important for all of us to listen to this message….many (me included over the years) tune out to these important messages.
Back to my Goal!
I set ‘My Goal’ late Jan, early Feb this year to be able to swim 1Km in the 50mt pool without drowning, hyperventilating or of course consuming half the pool during my feat!
I was a little keen in setting my deadline of 29th Feb 2016, evidently as it’s now the 2nd week of April it’s taken me a little longer than expected and been a somewhat rougher journey than expected too!
Battles along the way:
Frustrations, tantrums, anger, out-right panic; emotion so consuming that I’ve not even been able to speak but just end up in tears, hate of the water, water hating me and fighting back!
Swallowing way too much water, going nowhere (and I mean nowhere) using a float; rolling, losing my balance (yes, it is possible in water!),
OMG, I could go on……… seriously this is truly just a snap shot.
When I look back, I actually thought my swimming was OK, nothing so great that I would enter to become a lifeguard but I kinda’ just used to do it!
Over 20years ago when I went on my first holiday with my hubby Richard, we took a Padi Dive Prep course; in a kids pool with the water no more than waist deep….I had a panic attack and it took 3 guys to drag me out! Seriously I am not kidding!
After that, the whole water experience was hit and miss. In 2010 coming off the back of strong Marathon and feeling like ‘Super Women’, everyone telling me how strong I was, I should do a Tri.
So, what heck I thought, lets do it and I entered a Pink Triathlon; from memory 400mt swim/12km bike/3km run……this will be a breeze all I need to do is a little swimming to get me back into it, the rest will take of itself…..yeah right!
I was in the 2nd pack of 10 swimmers to be released and the last one out of the pool after all the contestants (over 300 from memory) swim over me, into me. I got kicked in every which direction possible.
I started with the front crawl progressed to the breast stroke, onto my back, then finished with doggie paddle. Every lifeguard on duty was around the pool, along with the crowd shouting me on.
It would have been so damn easy for me to get pulled out from one of the lifeguards and just jack the whole thing then and there, the stress my body was under was immense…..BUT I have my pride, my determination and most importantly I had sponsors relying on me to raise money for this incredibly valuable cause. I also knew that I was pretty strong on the bike and running. This was my weak link.
Needless to say I finished, hauled myself out the pool in an exhausted staggering fashion trying to get rid of all the water that I’d just taken on board. My bike ride was spent getting rid of more pool water as was my run!
Most importantly through all of that utter discomfort and hatrid for my swim I finished!
The sense of achievement was incredible.
From here it took maybe another 2 years before I got back into the water at my local swimming pool. Sat on the edge, legs dangled on; I had a total melt down and again, months passed before I attempted to get my feet wet….
My running took over; I love to run…you need nothing but a decent pair of trainers. Straight out the door and off you go, the scenery changes as does the sound and smells around you (that is of course if you choose to pay attention to the wonders nature has to offer).
After repeated high volume and some extreme terrain trail running with minimal recovery; I was on a high and enjoying life and felt so strong but started to gain a few niggles that just would not go away.
So after returning from overseas in December 2015 and getting aclimatised with the QLD heat it seemed a great opportunity to get back into swimming and use this as a replacement for my running whilst building things back up.
I was house sitting for 6 weeks when I first got back and luckily had the use of pools, so I progressed from an 8 mt to a 12mt pool, attempting to perfect my breast stroke (front crawl was not an option as I couldn’t get half way down the pool without it either up my nose or down my throat). I googled how to perfect my stroke, my hubbie took short videos so that I could see what was going on with my feet and legs etc. all good so I progress back to the local pool and attempt to put into action what I’d practiced in the 25mt…
Afew weeks later and with my ‘support’ team (you know who you are) I managed to get into the 50mt and do some lengths….things were going well I thought. So bought a 12mth Platinum membership so I could utilise the Masters tuition and potential for future squads.
3 Masters sessions undertaken with very very mixed results; good, bad, tantrums and tears! I just felt like I was going nowhere! On my last masters session one of the Coaches asked me what was my reason for swimming and why was I being so hard on myself……..explanation came something along the lines of: ‘well I can’t run right now so need to keep my fitness up and also want to feel strong and safe in the water’
So why are you placing so much pressure on yourself to achieve times and the perfect stroke etc…do you want to enter races? ‘No, was my answer’
So why don’t you just relax and enjoy it instead of fitting it?
Good point, couldn’t really argue with that!
Anyway…. After a fall out on a trail run just a few days after that swim session, I fell and cut my arm up fairly badly so was unable to swim for just over 3 weeks (no way was I going in a public pool with open wounds).
I went back thinking, no worries off we go, pick up where I left off so into the 50mt I go….
One of coaches said to me “go easy on yourself today if you’ve not swam for a while” yeah right that wasn’t going to happen, so instead I did 2 lengths they felt OK, half way down the pool on my 3rd I had a panic attack and lost the plot, doggie paddled to the end. Regained composure and breath to have another go…. Needless to say, I ditched it went into the 25mt pool, did another 2 lengths lost my balance and it ended in tears, anger and frustration but a lovely a double espresso to heal my wounded soul after!
A few days passed before I attempted to re-enter the water. At this point I knew I had to gain some intervention and help so made contact with a beautiful gentleman that has helped me previously overcome some stumbling blocks. Seriously, I was ready to quit – the stress and anxiety that I was creating around this was too much to bare and impeding on the whole purpose….my goal was well out of sight I thought so what’s the point?
The point is; I am not a quitter, I had invested time and money already and taken other peoples time up whilst asking for advice and help along the way.
I decided to change my tact; starting my day with a swim was just a sure fire way to trash the day before it had started; so with the hot days that have been continuously arising I decided to chill out and use the swimming as a cool down to my day; let the session be whatever but most importantly just enjoy my body being immersed in cool water to enable a good nights sleep.
That’s been my pattern; staying in the 25 mt pool, going back to basics from when I was house sitting and practicing my leg movements, ditching the float early on as this was proving a frustration rather than a aid and just building it all back up again.
If I felt good after 5 or 10 lengths I go for another 5/10 and so on. Some sessions over the last 2 weeks have been shorter than others, some more peaceful and relaxed than others but most importantly ensuring that no matter what; I went into these evening swims with a “nowhere to be, nowhere to go, just cool down and chill out” approach.
And guess what?:
I did 10, it felt OK, so I did another 10, they actually felt reasonable fast!, so another 10. I then took stock and thought, you know what it’s quiet, I have time lets go for another 10!
Bingo I got my goal!
Some of these lengths I had unpleasant moments, moments where I was talking out loud to myself too but who actually cares?, the guys next me just said “hope its an interesting conversation your having”?
When I finished I asked him to give me a High 5 – he did and was so pleased to be able to share my joy ☺
So….I just wanted to share with you the pleasure and pain of this journey and the amazing feeling of self worth, achievement and strength within me by persevering through my utter discomfort.
The joy that it’s brought me has far out weighed the discomfort.
If I had quit just a couple of weeks ago when things got really bad, I would just be allowing self pity and my fears, to overcome what I set out to achieve.
Because I am a Health & Fitness Coach, people often say to me; “But it’s so easy for you!” Sorry but NO, it is not, I too have my battles along the way, it is about digging deeper, riding throught the storms of utter discomfort, seeking help if you need it.
But most of all just keep persevering…. YOU SHALL SUCCEED and feel amazing once you do!
Go forth and conquer your Goal(s), the road may be challenging and unexpected but the end result will be worth it ☺