Yet another 3500 yards

Every swim workout I coach has a theme and Monday’s theme was Thoughts.  I posed these questions – What if you could quantify your thoughts?  Could you measure the value of your thoughts against the clock?

I wondered aloud what would happen if they focused on particular thoughts while repeating defined distances on specific intervals. Could we conclude the thoughts that produced the fastest swims were the most effective?

Every workout is delivered with a quote, of which, most of the time are met with rolled eyes and generous smiles.  I know I’m weird, but I have to enjoy myself, I have to engage myself or I couldn’t stand on the deck in the rain and deliver a combination of 25s, 50s and 100s to total yet another 3500 to 4000 yard workout.  After all these years the only thing that keeps me going is to explore my imagination.  Every so often I say something that connects with theirs and we share a moment, a warm fuzzy feeling inside.  Like the perfect swing in golf, you only need do it once and you’ll come back.

Speaking of golf Mondays quote was a reference to golf and we applied it to swimming.  “Golf is a game that’s played on a five-inch course—the distance between your ears.”  –  Bobby Jones

The quote went well with the theme and I was happy with myself for making some creative sense of thoughts, swimming and golf.  I did’t share a warm fuzzy feeling, but I did have one myself, so today I was back on deck.

Since Monday the idea of quantifying thoughts has sparked my imagination and I realized I didn’t explore what thoughts a swimmer might use.  So, today I provided a list of swimming thought categories the swimmers might use against the clock and for you I listed them below.

Technical – Every swimmer understands the thought consuming aspect of swimming that is focused on technique.  How the hand enters the water, the feet, timing of the breath and etc.…
Strategic (Course Management) – Strategy is applied to how a swim is performed with pacing and focus.
Musical – From time to time we all get a song stuck in our head, but how often do you use the song to help you swim?
Mathematical – Lengths of the pool, stroke count, and breaths per stroke, stroke rate, yardage accumulation and such is swimming.
Day Dreaming – It’s the final leg of the Olympic 4 x 100 free relay and the crowed is in on their feet as I dive into the water, my googles slip to my lips as my suit slides to my knees, I digress.
Transcendent – To transcend all thought and simply swim, to be a swimmer.

Inspired by my list I decided the theme for today’s workout was Transcend.  And the quote came from science.  “People wouldn’t even go into science unless there was something much bigger to be discovered, something that is transcendent.” –  David Eagleman

I asked them to replace the word “science” with “swimming” at that point I felt like enough was said.  They rolled their eyes, smiled and knocked out another 3500 yards.

Maybe Friday we’ll explore the states of optimism and pessimism and see if we can quantify their value.

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