Friday, July 08, 2011
This morning I made the decision to remain comfortably curled up in my bed and to delay my swim until this afternoon. Since I couldn't go back to sleep, it only made sense to Spark for a while or it made sense until I began reading some entries from one of my favorite Spark Teams.
It took me 21 minutes to go from bed to the pool deck. After all, you can't be one of those wild women in wetsuits or a buff badass by staying in bed. I was rewarded for my, er, "self-discipline" with a completely empty pool. Such bliss! Or it would have been blissful if someone hadn't shown up shortly into my swim and insisted on swimming right beside me and chattering the whole time. Egads! It was that insidious little witch, my Inner Critic. She has been inexplicably absent for my first five weeks on Spark People. As a result I had been lulled into thinking that this whole eating healthy and exercising daily thing wasn't too hard and actually fairly fun.
She must have been resting and saving it all up since she went right for the jugular. She began to make me impatient with myself. Inner Critic must have known I was pleased with my rate of weight loss, so she went after my swimming instead.
"Wow. So you are still only doing 50s? Come on, you have been in the water 3 weeks now."
I try to ignore her.
"You know darn well that if the flats of your feet are out of the water, that is most definitely NOT a breast stroke kick."
Then she snickers. The really irritating part is that I am sucking wind and slurping pool water and her tirade hasn't even left her breathless.
"Do you really think that you will ever swim in a swim meet, especially one that is long course? You know how you feel about swimming long course - a wee bit panicked, perhaps?"
"What you really need to do is suck it up and go join Masters this week. Swim every day, do their workout, bust your over-sized backside, and maybe, just maybe you can swim in that meet."
At this point, the pool begins to get crowded because my Inner Child decides to put in an appearance. I am surprised the lifeguards didn't notice, as she was quite vocal:
"But I don't want to! Don't make me swim inside. There is all winter for that. Come on, don't you want a tan?" The appeal to my vanity is another low blow.
Thankfully, it was time to tread water and the" ladies", and I use that term loosely decide to go hog all the hot water in the showers. With a parting shot, Inner Critic reminds me that it is only treading water if I am doing eggbeater. With a sigh of relief, I move my arms and legs with ease and gratitude. This ten minute ritual has almost become a meditation for me at the end of my practice. I genuinely try to empty my mind for that small window of time.
I try not to do any thinking until I get back in the car. Five weeks ago, I barely left the house and engaged in a minimum of physical activity. Now, I am moving my body and sweating profusely nearly every day. I am happier than I have been in a long time even if my swimming does need a fair amount of coaching. The point is that when I started Spark People, I tried to make thoughtful choices. I chose activities like hiking, swimming and weight training because I do enjoy them. I swim outside because there is almost a sensual pleasure in the experience. I will be ready for drills and longer distances in the fall, because I also enjoy mastering new skills.
I really think it is time for Inner Critic and Inner Child to take a hike, just preferably not on the path I am on.
Peace, joy, and contentment to my fellow Sparks,