Monday, April 13, 2009

A Brutal Week, A Crazy Dream, Consistency is the Key

The 'Zen Master of Swimming,' Eddie Reese, always preaches, "Everyday we miss is a day we can never get back." He has taught me that consistency and hard work are the keys to achieving our dreams. Swimming is a very difficult sport. So much of what we do relies on going to the pool every day without fail and grinding out yards, making sacrifices most are not willing to make and pumping iron in the weight room. The older we become, the more consistency becomes important. The analogy he gave me last week was this, "Imagine you are trying to cut down a forest. When you're young you can take breaks, miss some work, and still make up some lost ground over the long haul. However, when you get older you have less ability to make up time you miss which is why it is crucial to stay devoted." I always tell it like this, "Every time we get faster it becomes more and more difficult to get faster again. Therefore, the only way to keep getting faster is by refining our skills more and more."

Why am I telling ya'll all this? Tomorrow I will be traveling to New York City for two days. I won't be totally missing time in the water but the intensity and duration of my workouts will be greatly diminished while I'm there. In order to try and account for this missed time, I went to every practice that was offered last week. Keeping to Eddie's mantra I knew I had to put in extra work before I left. Generally we are asked to attend three morning practices per week, five afternoons and Saturday morning. Last week I went every morning, every night, and Saturday. To say the least, I was shredded. I could barely function at the end of the week. Completing all three mornings and all afternoons is hard in itself. The extra two mornings put me over the top.

Crazy training schedule:

5:52am wake up
6:30-8am practice
After practice I ate breakfast and did numerous things throughout the day such as writing, errands, emails, phone calls, reading, stretching, massage, etc. I don't usually take naps because I feel like I'm wasting my time...this week I was so tired I took three!
1:30-3pm weights or dryland
3-5pm swimming
At the conclusion of afternoon practice I would hit the hot tub and stretch in order to help alleviate tension in my muscles and promote recovery.
My bedtime was around 9:15 every night.

A trip to the Australian Outback

Wow was I tired. My body and mind were dragging. Even my dreams were weird last week. The most memorable dream went a little something like this...."I was on a horse (I love horses so this part of the dream was great) trying to cross the Australian Outback. It was dusk. The sun was slowly drifting away and as the darkness crept upon me so did the creepy noises of the Outback. Before I knew it I was in the complete darkness. My only salvation was the moon shining bright and the stars guiding me through the night. I was terrified. I kept looking over my shoulders in fear some alligator, lizard, monstrous dingo or even a crazy kangaroo was going to kill me. The only thing that kept me sane and happy were the cattle that seemed to cover the landscape. However, these weren't ordinary cattle....Noooo ma'm. These steers were so fat that their stomachs actually rested on the ground. When they wanted to move or run they lifted up their backs and their bellies came off the ground just enough to move. I kept charging my horse at the herds of cattle just so I could watch them pick their fat bellies off the ground and run. I was amused all night and it kept my mind off all the things I thought were trying to kill me." How's that for a wild dream???

Triceps back on track

The week was intense. I'm so glad it's over. My triceps have been feeling better and I believe they're almost back to 100%! I'm very confident knowing I put in a ton of work this year and will be ready to compete at the highest level this summer. Although weeks like the last one, with 11 practices, are brutal, they make me better. They teach me how to adapt through the struggle. They prove to my mind and body that I can do anything I put my mind to. They prove that even though I may be tired, I can still keep going. Eddie Reese is right, we must be consistent and work hard....everyday we miss is a day we can never get back. Prepare now for the dreams of your future!


Nicole said...

That training schedule sounds hard. I hate not having a busy and consistent schedule. Dreams are awesome those cows sound awesome... Have Fun in New York!

Adin said...

ooo sounds intense. Im excited to hear you are confident for this summer, i cant wait to watch.

P.S i love the great advice you share with us from eddie reese

J said...

Rock on that is awesome! Putting in the 110% percent...especially the last 1% is always difficult, but the internal strength you gain is amazing! Thanks for sharing your journey....its inspiring!

PS - I felt that last week working on a project, trying to keep the energy and mental concentration!

Garrett said...

The cows were totally crazy:P

I am getting more and more confident going into this summer. I know I have put a lot of good training in!

You're right, the last 1% is the hardest. However, that last bit is usually what makes a huge difference.

Owen said...

Keep it up! It all pays off!

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