Posted by: Cathy | January 21, 2013

Sink or Swim? Float!

I like to visit the rec. center to swim laps on Sunday mornings. I’m not a power swimmer but I love the water. I do a breast stroke down and then lay on my back and kick to the other end. Very simple, nothing fancy, but the water soothes and relaxes me, and I’m using my muscles, which is a plus.

Coach Blog 072712 swimming When I first got back into swimming last year, I hadn’t been in a lap pool in ages. I was intimidated by the serious freestyle lappers. I broke the ice with a funny swim cap and decided that I didn’t have to swim like them; I could just enjoy my pool time and do my own thing. But still, the peer pressure-by-example was there and I pushed myself harder than necessary. My lung capacity isn’t great (plus I live at high altitude in Colorado), so I used a kickboard to power-kick back and forth across the pool.

One day, I decided to forgo the kickboard and I remembered that I didn’t need it to keep me afloat – a relaxed body spread out on the water will float without effort. If I can float in the water, I don’t have to worry about sinking, but the key is to stay relaxed. This is when I developed my current routine. I don’t need a kickboard. I’m having fun. And the freestyle swimmers do their thing and no one has ever told me I’m doing it wrong. I’m sure they’re too busy in their rhythm to even notice what I’m doing.

My point in telling this story is to remind you that, when something is taking a lot of effort and you’re feeling frustrated or burnt-out, to relax for a moment and see what you can accomplish with less energy. Working harder doesn’t equal working smarter. Allow yourself to float for a moment, go with the flow, and let your perception change. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. You can wear a funny swim cap, or wear water-wings and nose-plugs; whatever works for you!

Experiment and see if you can do something in a new way. See what you can do with less energy so you can bring some lightness to your task and free up your energy for more important things.



  1. Excellent points all around! So many people think that working harder will get you where you need to be; but more often, you will get there by working smarter, excellent post 🙂

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