“ “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other fifty percent is physical” ~ Yogi Berra
Those that have been following my blog on this adventure to the Lonestar 70.3 Ironman in Galveston know and have read of my swim “issues”. From my earliest memory of sinking in the pool as a kid, to struggling to learn to swim as an adult has damn sure had its ups and downs. It was a summer of struggle and I almost gave up, then going out to support my friends Jeri and Jason I just knew i had to get back in there and keep trying! As with so many things in my life about the time I realise I am going to have to show a little humility and get help, a break though happens. I had been “cross-blogging” with our blogging friends The Water Blogged Triathlete and they had suggested searching out area Master’s Classes as a way to find a good coach in the area. One of the places in Oklahoma that was on the site to search for classes was The Lighthouse in Oklahoma City. I was getting ready to put a call into them when I saw a twitter post by Dr. Amanda Stevens announcing a swim clinic in Oklahoma City at The Lighthouse! So it was time to get a move on my coach search!
After going to The Lighthouse to inquire about the workshop, I checked out the facility and they hooked me up with Brian Kidd who is over the aquatics center. So leading up to the workshop I had a few sessions with Brian to get a little more of a handle in my breathing work. Brian was really good in getting me going and giving me some good early direction that helped me move forward.
I signed up to do the Workshop on November 28th, what an awesome experience! Here are a few of the highlights for me: 1. It put me in a setting with other people that had the same interests and I quickly realised that I wasn’t alone in my “water struggles”. 2. Doc Amanda is not only a premiere triathlon swimmer, she is a great coach too.
Being a part of a group with people that have a common interest and cause has saved my life. So it’s no wonder when I get in settings like this with a group of people that all have a mutual interest and passion, it feels at home. Getting to just be a “fly on the wall” and listen to the people that were veterans in the sport was fun and inspiring. I love the fact that the group was made up of people from a wide range of experience. While most all there were much more advanced than I, there were others that were of a similar level to me. For some reason that kind of “lightened my mental load”. It helped me to relax and feel comfortable. If you only knew how friggin self-conscious I have been about this swimming deal for my entire life, you would know that was pretty damned amazing for me. It left me with a feeling of “hope”. I knew I could do this, when I left. And I don’t mean from a “technical” standpoint, I mean from the “mental/emotional” side of this deal. So a big “thank you” to all of the participants that were there with me.
First of all, I have to tell you I was a little bit intimidated by the thought of doing a workshop with Amanda Stevens. I mean she is only the Ironman Swim World Record Holder! Amanda is like many of the other truly gifted people that I have met; they have a passion for sharing what they love with others. She took us through several exercises in a classroom type setting for the first part of our session then we all went out and got in the water. She would break us up into several different groups and kept us all going with different drills and exercises. I really had a good time with it, even though I struggled with some of the drills. Her husband Randy also helped, great guy with a helpful attitude too! I got alot “technically” from the workshop too. The work in the water helped me to improve on the spot. It was super-cool. But again, while it was a big help “technically” it was probably an even better help “mentally”. I swear, this whole thing is as much mental as anything.
After doing the workshop I set up a couple of 1 hour swim lessons with Amanda for me and a friend. The first lesson left me feeling really good. My buddy Jason was fired up too! A great hour experience. I also have asked her to coach me at least through the next six months and through the Lonestar 70.3. I am really excited that too! So here we go The Road To Galveston is going to be a great time, no doubt.
There is still one more workshop coming up on December 15th. Click on this link to find out more!
And yes, I wouldn’t ever blog without posting a song!
Next post will probably be about our trip to Dallas for the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon ! The girls did the full and I did my second half. Also I will be having my 1st Annual 49th Birthday on Sunday the 16th. I have a blessed life.
Keep those who are struggling in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season too. I know some really special people that are having some tough times right now. We Sure love you all.