There’s a passage in her book, Age is Just a Number, where Dara Torres describes what it feels like to swim. She writes about the water feeling heavy, as if you’re pulling yourself through it. If it seemed too light, it was a sign she didn’t have the right feel for the water that day.
It’s a description of swimming that comes to mind nearly every time I’m in the pool these days. How does the water feel? The question gives me another chance to focus on the moment, rather than on comparisons to other swimmers, comparisons to my past performances or concern over my future performances.
Today’s workout was a 1,000-yard time trial. After a 300-yard warmup I was to swim 1000 yards as fast as I could.
In this particular pool, where one length equals 25 yards, that meant 20 laps.
I’ve done this before, both as a timed exercise and as an easy swim. But there’s something about a test day which makes it a bit more intimidating. My mind starts to grant it a level of importance which, in all likelihood, it doesn’t quite deserve.
So, in an attempt to direct the mental chatter to a more productive place, I keep returning my focus to two things: