Monday, February 9, 2009

Finding the Good in the Bad

Feeling bad can be a good thing if we look at it from the right angle.

Today my freestyle stroke felt really good in the water but my legs literally felt terrible. I had no idea what was going on??? In the weight-room they were super weak as well. This is unusual for me because my legs are probably my strongest and best asset as a swimmer. Eddie always tells me my gift is my kick...let me tell you, today it wasn't.

Just like all of you, I've had some things in my life that have made me very upset, disappointed, angry etc. Thankfully swimming and the people who have supported me in swimming have taught me something that has made a huge difference in my life. I have learned to take those feelings of sadness, anger, disappointment, fear whatever they may be and spin them to my advantage.

When I missed the Olympic team in 2004 by one place that was the biggest disappointment of my life. Up to that point in my swimming career there had never been anything I worked for or wanted that I hadn't achieved. I was literally shocked and in utter disbelief. I was crying my eyes out on the pool deck when Kris Kubik, the assistant coach at Texas, came up to me and said these words I will never forget..."Garrett, I want you to look at that scoreboard and always remember how you feel right now and promise yourself you will never let yourself feel this bad ever again." That instant I promised myself I would work harder and sacrifice almost anything to get where I wanted to be. I never wanted to feel that bad ever again. I have no idea how things would have been different if I had made that Olympic team in 2004. What I do know is I would have missed out on learning a super important lesson. It was a blessing in disguise.

Now when I get into situations that are not the most desirable I'm better able to find the bright side or the positives. There is no sense dwelling on the negatives and making ourselves miserable. We can always learn something or draw some kind of happiness or contentment from most situations. Ask yourself how you can use this situation to your benefit, figure out how your tears can turn into laughter or future success, never give in and simply accept that a situation is all bad...there's no way that's true. Just make sure to look at all the may be surprised what you find!


Jane said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Glad that you heeded Kris after 2004 so we could see you in Beijing.

Keep it up, I'm sure your legs will start listening soon,and your kick will improve even more! :)

Kyle M. said...

Garrett, thank you for this post. You're absolutely right. It's difficult to remember, at times, that obstacles, setbacks, or what we might even call "failures" can and will work to our benefit in the long run if we handle them with the right attitude. As you point out, it's all about not despairing over the negatives of the past, but rather, using them as fuel!

I meant to say, a couple posts back, that if you swam a split of 18.80 with a slow start and what you felt was an awkward turn (did I read that correctly?), you must have been FLYING. I'm sure some future French National Team member somewhere is reading that post and shuddering! hahaha

Good luck at the Missouri meet this weekend!

Liza said...

So positive.....thanks for the post. I needed that today.

Donna Binkholder said...

Thanks for such and inspirational blog, yet again. This is so very true. I use to be so negative when I didn't do things right in my techniques and stuff, but I had to realize that I have to be more positive with myself and confident in my abilities otherwise I am never gonna get. Also, I remember once I didn't make the speech team I felt horrible, but I work hard at speaking better and that next year I made the team. Yup, we all can learn from the negatives and the disappointments and make them into positives. Thanks for such a great blog. I need that today. :)

Garrett said...

Kris' words really had a life-changing impact on me!

Missouri will be interesting...I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do.

I'm glad ya'll were able to take something away from this post:)

Adin said...

nice blog and good luck at missouri

J said...

Thanks for sharing the positives that outweigh the negatives! Your blog is reflective and gives us a chance to reflect as well! Those obstacles challenge us, and make us strong in the long run!

Donna Binkholder said...

Missouri!! I live in that state. I will prolly be going to watch you at Mizzou. Good Luck

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