All About Mentality

Several people have asked me recently what goes on in my head during training. How do I stay so focused? After two EXTREMELY tough purplepatch swim sessions this week I decided it might be interesting to "listen to the thoughts" that go on in my head.

I am going to be completely honest here so excuse the language in advance. Here is how my Tuesday went down.

4:30 AM Alarm goes off. 

"Crap. My nose is stuffy. I miss sleeping in when I was injured. Let me snooze 10 more minutes with Zach"

4:33 AM

"I need to do my exercises wake up Laurence."

4:35 AM - 5:00 AM Downstairs doing exercises. Oatmeal on the stove for post workout meal. Eat breakfast.

5:07 AM - On the scooter heading to practice.

"Damn it's COLD!"

5:12 AM - In the JCC. Stretching. Looking at some emails. Chatting with people.

5:30 AM - JCC opens. Mad rush to get ready to get in the pool.

"I need to get a good warm-up in. No time to talk."

5:33 AM - Jump in pool. Warm-up.

"Hmm...I feel pretty good right now. Leg doesn't hurt. Ooo I'm having a hard time breathing I hope that gets better. Where's Mary? Okay 600 done that's good I'll be able to get at least an 800 in. I wonder if my leg is going to hurt. I'm hungry."

5:45 AM - Pre-main set (6x100s 3 right arm, 3 left arm. 6x50s swim good stroke descend).

"What the...this is actually hard! This is supposed to be easy! Oh man my arms are sore. It's okay focus on the drill. Dang, I'm really feeling the water. Crap, messed up that turn. Jeeze focus Laurence. Hey Mary is swimming well. What is the main set going to be."

6:15 AM - Main set announced. (6x100 IM on 1:20 followed by 3x50s FAST on 1:00; 3 times through)

"Oh. My. God. THREE TIMES THROUGH. I am going to die. I am seriously going to die. How much IM is that? Stop Laurence. You can do this. FUCK. Okay. Calm down, deep breathes. Maybe he will let you pull the second round. Or maybe you can convince him to let you do freestyle the second round. Just get through this round."

3x100 IMs in

"Alright, calm down. See, you are getting 5 seconds rest. You are going to be fine. Don't let up. Ugh so many waves making butterfly impossible. 3 more until you are done with this round. You got this."

First 50 fast

"Owe. OWE. FML this sucks. Okay whew one down I sucked on that come on Laurence don't give up jeeze. 2 more for redemption." 

Start of second round

"Matt please let me do freestyle...PLEASE...crap. Nope. Okay here it goes. Oh man, my arms are already falling off. This is not going to be pretty. Ugh I feel so horrible. YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE INTERVAL. You have never missed an interval COME ON LAURENCE. Ahhhhh."

#2 - 6 100 IMs

"I am going to puke. Omg I am seriously going to puke...Maybe I should stop and get out and puke. Yes, I'm going to do that. NO Laurence you are not going to do that what the heck! That's the easy way out. Matt believes you can do this so you better start doing this and not trying to take the easy way out. Fudge, just puked. Okay well that's out of the way. Ugh, I'm dieing."

Round 3

Big round eyes..."Maybe he will let me do freestyle. Come on Matt! Yep, he's looking at me like he's thinking about it!...sigh, nope. Crap."

1 100 in

"DO NOT MISS A SINGLE INTERVAL. 5 MORE 100s LEFT. YOU WILL NOT LIVE WITH YOURSELF IF YOU DO. I can't feel my body. Oh I am going to die. I can't wait until this is over."


"Damn. I'm proud of myself."

Everyone has crazy thoughts that go through their heads -- it is all about conquering them and being able to say, at the end of the day, that you gave it your all and did not give up on yourself. For me, I find that by encouraging my lanemates and knowing that whatever Matt gives me he knows that I can accomplish it so I better start believing that I can too.

La vie est belle!