What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mountain Mermaid Excursion

We all know that swimming is my weak discipline in triathlon. I have struggled with it mentally and physically since May 2007. Last August, I had a mental breakthrough, after having gone through some neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) with another HEPster. There was definitely a click in the water, as I became more comfortable in my mind but there wasn’t a feeling of power or confidence in my actual stroke. Today? This all changed drastically. I had a moment. Perhaps even, “the moment” that I have so desperately been wanting and impatiently waiting for from the moment I decided I wanted to do my first triathlon. And it was a result of swimming under the guise and watchful eye of distance swimming legend and champion, Eney Jones.

Within moments, she was able to advise on minimal stroke changes needed to increase my power and glide in the water. Breathe earlier. Don’t break your wrist when you catch. Thrust your hand into the water at a 45 degree angle. Imagine a pelican diving into the water. Finish your stroke. All basic. All simple. She says the power is in your back! No more sore shoulders for this little fishy. Those days are over.

She had Mike and I doing very different drills than what we’re used to. My favorite was when she had us put on a jogger belt that was attached to stretch cords. She ran down the length of the pool, basically dragging us by the cords, with the intention that we had to swim as fast as she was running. This was when “the moment” occurred for me. I felt as if I had been floating on top of the water, gracefully, with enough breath in my lungs – despite swimming out of my comfort zone. I held my composure. This is what it must feel like to be a champion I thought to myself. A champion!

When we finished our session, we promised not to work or even listen to anyone else’s advice. We don’t want to. She’s the best instructor we’ve ever had. More importantly, she is a kind and intuitive teacher, whose main goal is to make us all feel beautiful in the water and to always find that button that quiets the mind when panic sets in, not only in the open water, but in life.

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