If I would ask you what your biggest enemy in the pool is, what would you answer?
Who do you think of if I tell you to think of your antagonist of swimming?
For many of you the answer might be simple and obvious: your unpleasant teammate, the athlete the same age as you but with a better time for the same distance, the swimmer that, despite he started practicing later, is obtaining better results.
These answers are surely a real ones, but they don’t take into consideration who your real worst enemy is: yourself.
You yourself is the voice inside your head that is telling you that staying on the sofa is the easier and more comfortable choice rather than getting up and dragging yourself to the pool to practice.
You yourself is the one reminding yourself that you need to slow down because your legs hurt, your heart is beating too quickly or that you’ve already given enough.
You yourself is the one who can decide whether to tell your arms or your legs to go quicker or slower and that, more than any other antagonist, and more than any other external factor, can determine the result of your workout or of your competition.
You often hear about how you need to think positively, in order to transform every small attempt of our mind to stop us. In the end, every strategy that we use, that voice seems to take the upper hand and our mind somehow seems to stop us or at least limit us. Only when this voice inside becomes louder than our attempts to quieten it can we finally realize a very important fact: that it exists.
They say that the knowledge of its existence is the first step in realizing that there’s a problem. Only from the moment that we realize that this “self talk” is there, can we take a conscious step in understanding what’s going on in our mind.
We will finally be able to understand and recognize which thoughts go through our minds the most, which are our biggest fears and to understand once and for all where we need to focus our attention in order to win the most important race: the one against ourselves.