Sunday, January 4, 2009

One Week Down

Aaahhhhh I finished the first week of winter training with success. The week was very challenging both mentally and physically. Training can be very emotional at times depending on the set Eddie has given us and how I am performing. I can either be super happy and positive with the work I'm doing or with how I'm perfoming or making progress...or I can feel disappointed or annoyed by the set we are doing or with how poorly I'm performing. Generally if I'm disappointed it is because I am giving all I have and it just isn't good enough to meet the expectations Eddie has set for me.

At the first practice, we did 20, 50s of the butterfly on 35 seconds. This is a test set we usually try to do once a year. I made 10 of them. When you miss you take a 50 off and start back up at 40 seconds. Without a doubt it was a good way to start the week off...with a big BANG!

Not only has my training in the pool been really good but I have been really making improvements in the weight room. I know getting stronger will be a huge factor in my development throughout the rest of my career. I focus a great deal of my energy on doing just this...getting stronger. I have always had difficulty gaining strength but now that I am getting older and more mature I have been able to see more improvements.

My Dad was definitely right about his last post...I was exhausted this past week. I don't know what it is but when I get super tired I almost go into a different mode of thinking. I try to protect myself and my emotions at all costs.

There is a great sport's psychologist named Jim who worked with Team USA at the Olympics. I have worked with him in the past at other meets and he has been a tremendous asset to the USA Swimming staff. He talked to me one time about how we all try to protect ourselves much more when we think we are vulnerable. I realize this seems obvious but protection comes in different ways than we might ordinarily think. For instance, when I look back at times when I have been super fatigued mentally and physically, I realize that I don't talk to as many people on the phone, I don't answer emails or phone calls as quickly, I make my schedule tighter so I am much less committed or available. These are just a few examples of things I've noticed. You might be asking yourself what does not talking to as many people on the phone have to do with protecting yourself? Jim told me that one of the ways athletes protect themselves is by trying to keep themselves away from anything that may be negative or become negative. So the example of not talking on the phone deals as much with the fact that subconsciously I am trying to keep myself away from anything that could be negative and weigh on me even more.

This may sound selfish to some of you and maybe it is, but it is something I've realized I do after looking back on past situations. For me, protecting myself is of the utmost importance right now because I am so consumed by my training that I can't afford to have anything else bring me down or add any additional stress.

I'm actually really looking forward to more training this week because I feel like I'm finally getting fit. It takes a really long time for me to get into the kind of shape I think I need to be in. The past few days my body has shown my mind signs that it is reaching the point of fitness I have been working towards. Now I just need to try and exceed that level! Sounds fun, right...haha!


Sarah said...

Protecting yourself when you are vulnerable is a HUMAN act, not just one that athletes follow...I think sometimes you think that some of what you write may seem strange to us but its really not. You are a human being...but you have an extraordinary talent that most of us could only dream of. I think everything you think and feel is very real and not bizarre at all. The best part about this blog is that you ALLOW us a glimpse into your world which is something not many other world class athletes would even think of doing. I think it shows great character.

Donna Binkholder said...

I love the blog!! Glad that you have been improving and that you have been having a great training season so far. It's gotta be a killer and does take it's toll on a person physically and mentally. I can relate, I didn't really know how hard I was training until I realized how tired I was because not only am I training I also have school and I have been having to work 12 hour days at work. So I have been really tired lately, but I don't sweat because I know this will all be worth it in the end. This will only make us stronger. I just love reading your blogs they are always so uplifting and so motivational to me. When I have a bad day I always come back to them and reread them and realize that I can't give up at all costs and remember what it is I want in life. Thanks for always writing blogs it helps me out more than you will ever know. Take care!!

Mark said...

The description is pretty accurate. It took years to realize how to read some of what Garrett was feeling. As family we often try to keep distractions from him at critical periods. Sometimes we probably inadvertantly add them.

For Donna and all those who enjoy the blog, be sure to refer others to it.

Anonymous said...

Sarah pretty much said it all.
Contuine to kick butt in the pool and happy to hear things are going the way you want them too. The hard work is paying off. One day at a time.

Anonymous said...

*yeah i so miss spelled continue sorry.

Donna Binkholder said...

Ah I am sorry bout that I did not realize I was just talking about myself and referring others to it. Sorry bout that.

Donna Binkholder said...

* not

Lauren Ashley said...

I sure hope it isn't selfish!! I do the same thing! If I'm in charge of a show, or just running around like crazy while IN a show, I don't talk to anyone, and usually won't answer questions, because I get easily irritated, and if I snap at someone, it will upset them, causing them to get mad at me, which will upset me... and it's just a downward spiral... so I keep to myself when it's crunch time. It's a natural thing... the last thing we want is anything negative, so we try to keep as positive as possible. :)

Miss Melanie said...

It's wise to stay away from "Negative Nellies" who sap our energy and focus. I've been praying for something for two years, that I believe God wants for rme, and when people say "I don't mean to be negative, but..." I dismiss what they say, and stay away from them in the future! I pray for protection against negative people, and I stand up for the positive whenever I can!

Isa said...

Sometimes when I feel tired or mad about school or anything else I go to my bedroom and I start listening music or I go swimming for a few hours and that makes me feel really good because If I get tired I get a little bit irritate and to not be mean for my parents or to anyone else I just stay away from them….so is normal what you do.
Your blog is awesome because we see how an athlete life is all about, and is great that with all of your training you still have time to write about your daily life and answer to our comments.

Soly said...

Congrats & Good luck with the rest of your training. :o)

Taylor said...

Now that you've got a wii, you guys should get a wii fit. It's a lot of fun and great way to interact with the family and get some exercise :)

Great job on improving week by week!

Also, did you catch the fiesta bowl last night? What a great game for your Longhorns. Very excited that they beat the buckeyes.

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