Thursday, November 12, 2009

Patience...It's a Virtue!

Patience...while it IS a virtue...I've found it to be something that can at times be hard to find. With a society so based around instant gratification and 'the next best thing' it's easy to sometimes get dragged into this ideology as well. In general I certainly don't fall into that group, however, I do have my moments. My moments generally arise at times like at yesterday's practice. Long story short...I've been working my tail off in the weight-room and the pool for over a month. I'm getting more fit all the time but still haven't reached the level I'm looking for. Yesterday we did a set based on sheer speed. If speed was gold and I was a mine had been all used up. I was dead. What an unsatisfying practice.

Frustrated with my level of fitness I thought to myself, "I'm sick of waiting...I want it NOW." Eddie could tell I was having a hard time. After practice we talked and he reminded me that it takes time and grit. He said, "you're as good or better than anyone at that game...that's what you grit it out." Suddenly a brisk breeze bellowed into my sails. At that moment I took a deep breath in and my body literally (literally) felt like it had just inhaled something magical...I was the words of the one and only Eddie Reese. No one in the world could have had that affect on me other than Ed. He also said, "you gave it all you could and that's all you have right now. We'll string a whole good week of training together soon. We just need to stay at it." He's right. The season is young. I just need to be patient and take it one step at a time. Looking back at it practice actually wasn't that bad. The truth is that I'm a perfectionist and my expectations and desire sometimes gets the best of me. I'm glad I have people around me that can help me keep my goggles clear and see what's really going on.'s a virtue!


Teresa said...

Ah, Grasshopper... (as the spiritual teacher from an old American tv show used to say).
Garrett, you are truly blessed, as a writer and with a great coach. My college ballet teacher (who had in her prime been a true prima dancing with one of the greatest companies of all time) said to me one day after a class in which I was off on everything that it is only those who are great who have good and bad days and that the greatness will return after one has rested ones muscles and mind. Those who are average, she further said, do not have good or bad rehearsals or classes; they simply are always the same. I recall her words on those days when I struggle through a swim practice and am off on my strokes or turns or my what-ought-to-be sprints more closely resemble a warm-down. The greatness is in you. It is just waiting for you to reach its time. Thanks for the inspiration. As a middle-aged swimmer who has to fit in practices around work, family, dog, other other commitments, it is a blessing to know that one who is great struggles at times, too. Maybe it is the willingness to keep going despite the struggle and disappointment that makes one great. It will be a joy to see you and an honor to root for you in the 2012 Olympics. Bake bread tonight. Kneading dough and watching it rise are wonderful tools for meditation. Your practice today was like the first rise of the dough which sets the gluten. The second rise further strengthens the gluten and develops the flavor of the bread so that when it is placed in the oven and is under fire, it achieves its full greatness. You had a first-rise practice today. Your second-rise is coming. (p.s., if you ever want to know how bad an off day can be, take a ballet class. It will give you an entirely new perspective of having an off day.)

Garrett said...

Wow thanks so much for the kind and insightful words. Yes, we all do have our struggles...everyone does!

Great use of a bread example to illustrate...good work! Thanks:)

Blogspot Template by Isnaini Dot Com