The cheapest and the most underappreciated tool of a personal growth

Sport as a tool of personal growth

You do not need to guess long, because it’s obvious- it’s sport.

And my favorite is swimming. It helps me to train not only my body but also my mind. And here is how.

I like to swim and my distance now is 1,5 km, which I aim to finish in 30 minutes.

To accomplish this, I have to distribute my energy, I can’t put all 100% of energy in the first 100-200 meters because then I will not have it for the rest 1300m.

I am quite competitive when I do sports. So in the beginning when I only started training myself for this distance, I was nervous when someone passed me by. I felt that I swam so slowly, I tried to catch up with them, but even if I succeeded, I lost a lot of energy there. Later I noticed that those who swam faster than me usually stopped after each 100- 220 m. I do 1500 m without any breaks. So I stopped getting anxious about them. They had short-term goals, I had my long term goal.

In my swimming pool, I am one of few who does this distance without any breaks. And sometimes I even get compliments and words of admiration from men haha

This is what is happening on a physical level.

On a mental level, I would divide this process into 4 stages – the same ones as when you set a goal and start achieving it.

The 1st stage is pre- swimming. I usually feel resistance, doubt if I can accomplish this distance today, fear that I can face obstacles, for example, a lot of people in the swimming pool. All these 3 emotional states are very normal when one starts achieving a goal. The best strategy here is being afraid but doing anyway.

The 2nd stage is my first 300 m. It’s when I have all my energy and I want to go all in. Also, it’s when I warm up my muscles. My first 100 m is fast. But then sudden tiredness can appear and the desire to quit is strong. I slow down and find a comfortable pace for me to continue.
The same with our goals: we are so full of enthusiasm in the beginning so we think we can quickly reach them. But we face our first obstacles and realize that it’s not going to happen as fast as we planned. Here we have to be persistent and determined. And fight that first instinct to quit.

Swimming as a tool of a personal growth

Swimming as a tool for personal growth

The 3d stage is my next 800-900 m. This is when the goal is not yet visible, and you are getting tired. And actually, if you think about how many meters are left to make, you don’t see any capacity within you to finish it. My strategy for this part is to focus on my breath, on my next 50 m, and to stop caring about my body !! That’s right )) Because by 1200 m I quite often do not understand whose legs and arms make all the effort. But I continue. I insist on continuing.

Consistent efforts are the key here. As Dwayne Johnson said, “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come”. Become ignorant with all your senses to the rejections, failures, and just continue. Yes, this can exhaust you but stay focused, positive, and think about accomplishing your goal.

My last 200-300 m, the 4th stage, is the most rewarding part of the distance of course. Somehow I usually find more energy to put in some more effort, I swim faster and I finish my distance! Yay!! And with the goals, this is the part when we become the most inspired, laser-focused, stronger than before we started our journey because of the feeling that we are about to achieve our goal. We forget about all the exhaustion, and we take what is rightfully ours!

And if we get back to those fast swimmers who do 100-200 m distance, it’s about that each of us has its own path. For someone, 200 m is a great achievement, and they do not need more. And short term goals are steps towards something bigger.

My goals are long-term and very ambitious. I play on offense – not defense, and I simply need my mind to be my strongest ally.
So as much as you train your body, you can explore and train your mind which is the most powerful machine ever created!

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