Mind Over Matter – Never Give Up The Battle

This morning as I snuggled up to my warm doona knowing the thermometer was struggling to reach 3 degrees Celcius… I shook my head thinking it was not that many years ago, I thrived on mornings like this, clocking up 10kms in the ocean or river… at least.

“Well Shell you got up yesterday and swam. So why did you struggle today?” I asked myself.

With the cold, winter weather hitting us, the number of swimmers showing up at swim practice each day is dwindling. So the cycle goes. It has always been like this as long as I can remember. The core group generally remains in tact, but the not-so-serious, hangers on fall, to the way side. I have to hand it to those who plod through the workout, day after day, month after month, making little strides here and there. What is the unique motivation for each individual I wonder.

What was my motivation? Yesterday? Ten years ago?

Never Give upWithin the past twenty four hours, I saw a lone bicyclist braving the frigid morning air as she made her way along the Swan River. She was most likely on her way to a uni class or possibly to work. What was her motivation to suffer through the hardship of riding in near freezing temperatures? Was it out of necessity or is it that her passion for riding drives her to push the limits?

I’ve even seen runners here and there, knocking out those k’s while the majority of others have tucked away their running shoes for the winter.

And I knew also that somewhere in the Swan River, was my good friend Wayne Morris, training in preparation for his English Channel solo attempt planned for August.

What separates the hardcore athletes, from all the others? I’m not talking about their individual abilities, but rather their individual mindsets. I could care less about who’s the best or worst. The thing that intrigues me is the internal motivation that drives an individual to continue on their quest to train their mind and body.

We all go through periods where we seem to lack the motivation to train. It’s normal and it’s bound to happen. The key is to not let yourself fall into the trap of becoming accustomed to the routine of apathy.

I can’t tell you how many times yesterday morning I layed in bed thinking to myself that I was too tired, too jetlagged to go train. And, to be honest, I’ve fallen prey to those demons from time to time. However, there has never been a time when I’ve dragged myself out of bed to go swim, and regretted it later. 100% of the time, I was glad I did it. Just like yesterday.

Which reminds me why I committed to my next goal: September 5th 2015,  swimming the 48km Around Manhattan Island one more time and celebrating the 100th anniversary!  I haven’t done much swimming for awhile, so my motivation is lacking. What better time to start training than right now.

Find your motivation. Dig deep, challenge yourself, and never give up the battle.


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