Friday, February 13, 2009

A Trying Day

Today was not the easiest day for me. I am currently in Missouri for a swim meet. The event I swam today was the 200 free. I warmed up and felt pretty descent. I don't really have much power in the water but thought I would be fine if I warmed up enough. I am very tired from swimming and lifting hard. Eddie and I talked about how I was going to swim the race and what we expected. I swam the 200 free in the prelims in the last heat next to Ryan Lochte. I got demolished by everyone. I went 1:58. Other swimmers in the heat went up to six seconds faster than me. Seriously there were probably 15 year old boys that beat me today. I think the fastest two girls in the finals beat my time too. I failed to qualify to swim at night. Wow. I had nothing. I tried to pick it up. There was nothing to go with.

My plan coming into the meet was to just wear a Speedo. I didn't want to wear a faster suit because I wanted to really be able to judge where I am in the season. Basically everyone else in the meet is wearing a suit. It was tempting to put on a suit...I have learned that it is generally best to stick to your plan.

Although I'm more mature and experienced now than I ever have been I sometimes get sucked back into my somewhat immature days when I perform poorly. For instance, when I swam that slow the first things that come to my mind are, am I fat? Am I less cut than I once was? Is my stroke different? Have I lost touch? Has my nutrition not been as good? I am very hard on myself and have difficulty accepting anything less that what I expect.

To make things worse I got crap from people surrouding me...even my friends, teammates and coaches. Some of the things said to me were, "dude you should be embarrased" "are you serious? 1:58" "Oh you don't need to see the heat sheet for's not like you made it back" In my younger years this would have completely enraged me. I can remember times like this in the past where I would literally want to fight someone I was so furious inside. When I was younger I drew a lot of motivation from the fact that I thought I always had to prove people wrong and shove it in their faces. As I got older I realized this mode of operating is way too strenous on my mind, not healthy and not the best way to prepare myself for success. When I heard these comments today a part of me was annoyed. However, a bigger part of me was disappointed in myself and somewhat hurt that people failed to realize how tired I am. I left by reminding myself that the only thing that matters is that I know the truth and stay confident in what I'm doing. This has been my mentality in my later years...I focus on myself and what I can do to prepare myself for success. I try not to worry about what others think or the end I'm the only one who can either make or take away the magic...I control me.

A guy I have known for many years named Sam could tell I was a bit down tonight. He has commentated tons of meets over years including the likes of Olympic Trials. He told me tonight that his favorite part of the entire Olympic Trials in Omaha was my reaction after I won the 50 free and in a frenzy of excitement and jubilation went over to hug Eddie and Kris. He told me how my emotion showed it all. He said he could remember how it was only 18 months earlier when I was telling him how I longed to get to the top and was on the road to success that hadn't yet been acheived. Sam told me that I need to remember that I have seen it all. I have been to the top of the top and the low of the low. He's right...what makes the top so beautiful and emotionally fulfilling is knowing how far you've come and how bad the bottom feels. Meets like this are humbling and make me really appreciate and feel thankful for all the succes I've been able to expereince. Sam told me to keep my head up and use this as a lesson and take something positive from it...he said I know you'll be back at the top!

I need to look at this situation from the right angle....hmmmm sounds familiar. Trust me I know it's hard to do sometimes. I felt terrible all day. I've found that sometimes it just takes something outside ourselves to grab us and give us a helping hand. Thankfully today Sam gave me that helping hand. I now realize I'm tired and need to judge the rest of this meet accordingly. I have a feeling things will only get better from here! I'll keep you updated.

Sam, if you're reading this...thanks for giving me the helping hand I needed!


Jessica Cole-Crawford said...

Wow- what a head you've got there on your shoulders... I know that you are disappointed in your swim today... hopefully, you can at least be proud of the fact that you've got your head and heart in the right place. You are obviously made up of integrity. Your emotional side seems so well balanced with your level-headedness and your ability to rationalize and reason about the situation. The heart and mental qualities that you possess are truly triumphant. Thanks for sharing your blog. Sorry about today's swim... but tomorrow is a new day...

Anonymous said...

As a (former) runner, nothing is more frustrating than people who were not in your body telling you that your race was terrible and that you should have done better. It's great you have a friend who encourages you no matter what, and there is always the next swim to go out and dominate in.

J said...

For what its worth, I hope this quote helps, its a great way to look at things when your trying to analyze a different look on a situation-- Its old Fleetwood Mac song-
"If you wake up and dont want to smile, If it takes just a little while, Open your eyes and look at the day, You'll see things in a different way."
Your mindset is pretty remarkable, and I enjoy the way your blog provides great reflection!

Donna Binkholder said...

Wow!! Nice blog...very wise thinking. There will always be bad swims...sorry today's swim wasn't very good for you but tomorrow will be better I just know it. Your drive to meet your expectations are truly amazing and don't be so hard on'll all get better...there's always a reason why you didn't make it...sometimes it could be a mental thing or what you did...just always keep that positive attitude though...Thanks for sharing. Tell you what I remember I had a meet at school for track my junior year and I mean I can throw pretty good that day I didn't even place I was soooo upset and disappointed because I was the best thrower on the team and I felt like I let everyone Coach he came up and talked to me about my performance and made me realize that I should take this a learn from it and to not be hard on myself. Good Luck tomorrow Garrett!!

Isa said...

Don´t be too hard on yourself, better days will come.

It´s always sad when you know that you have not done the best of you, but you start feeling even worst when you start listening all that negative comments.

When I listen that type of comments I always try to do better because I don´t want to feel sad again and angry with me.

Don´t stop believing in yourself and better meets will come :)

Garrett said...

I always try to remember this is all just a long process with ups and will always get better.

Sam was an invaluable person to have yesterday!

good quote.

This morning was much better...I get to swim tonight!!!

Donna Binkholder said...

And that's truly the best way to look at. I seen this quote today that says, "Everything I am not made me everything I am!!" its very true.

Good Job Garrett Good Luck tonight!!!

I wish I was there watching it's not like a live an 1 hour away or anything..bahahaha

Adin said...

lol im sure you will handle those 15 year old boys and haters properly at wc trials in whatever you swim.

Miss Melanie said...

Hi Garrett,

I hope this afternoon finds you feeling better and being excited about tonight's swim.

I'm reading an article about beef in Cooking Light. This blurb jumped out at me, for reasons that will become obvious:

"Humans began domesticating cattle, Bos taurus, about 8,500 years ago. Columbus first brought cattle to the New World, and by 1690, descendants of Columbus' cattle ranging in Mexico were driven north and became known as...

(Drum roll, please...)


Isn't that cool!

Garrett said...

I love that story about the Texas Longhorns!!!

Donna Binkholder said...

Ya show Mizzou what the Texax Longhorns are all

QBrain said...

You had two options. You could have trained hard, tapered for the Olympics, swam on the most memorable relay in the history of the universe, taken the media tour, come back to winter training busting your ass and end up at this meet torn down.

Or you could have trained through the Olypmics, eased up on your winter training, tapered for this meet and totally dominated... what meet are you swimming at again?... and be thrilled with your times right now.

I think it is better than 50/50 that you made the right decision, and this meet is just a sign post on your way to more important things down the road.

Garrett said...

good point...

I just need to remember where I am in the season and adjust my expectations.

Donna Binkholder said...

Very true. Just keep that positive attitude and level head of yours and you will be just fine. Never ever lose faith either. Keep on pushing with all that you have when things everything is against you. Oh and Good Job last night Congrats on getting a medal.

Sarah said...

QBrain said it all.

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