Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fire in the Belly

looks to be a re-occurring theme among some of the tri-blogs I read. It appears that during the off season, it is hard to keep that going. No races to affirm what you are doing is paying off. Just the cold, gray snowy days.

Confidence is something that seemed to elude me on Sunday morning at my swim meet. I looked high and low and it was nowhere to be found until the second half of the meet.

My husband, son and Mom came to cheer me on- How awesome are they??? My husband, John, earned some huge points by helping my son Jack make a sign for me. Did I mention how awesome my family is? My Mom is super, she drove all the way out to St. Charles, right after her masters swim practice and then chased my little one around and STILL had a 4 mile run to do when she got home. Thank you family- I love you all.
I was a little nervous, I wanted to do well for the team, for me and for my family that made the special trip out just to see me.  At first it was nothing more than pre-race nerves.  I got there and chatted a bit with my teammates and the heat sheet (list of events showing which heat you are in and who you swim against) came out. I noticed that I was in some fast heats swimming with/against some really fast girls on my team.

I was also on two relays with my tri-coach- who is a super fast and strong swimmer. WHY was I so nervous???  I’ve done swim meets a thousand times before. I shouldn’t  be this nervous. Confidence where are you? Apparently, it went out to Starbucks for a Chai latte and slice of pumpkin loaf. Grrr, I need you.

First up, 100 IM, got up on the blocks and the gun went off- I was NOT dialed in, I was too worried about God knows what, and I dove in only to have my goggles flip and fill with water. I panicked and basically didn't breath until breast stroke (3 lengths in). UGH, not a great start. I still somehow managed to improve my time from the last meet… but I was disappointed and felt I could have done better. 

Next was my first relay… the 200 medley. We had a rockstar line up. I was in for 50 fly – 3rd position out of 4. You need to be fast, and after the 100 IM I really needed to do well here. Confidence- I could really use you right now. I was afraid I was going to let my relay team down, and disappoint my family. I ended up doing well, and our relay team did awesome.

Upon waiting for my next event, our swim coach asked me “What is it going to take to calm your nerves down?”  I stopped and thought about what she asked me. I thought about what I've been reading… I thought about what I wasn’t doing…I wasn’t focused, I didn’t have a clear mind and I wasn’t allowing the positive in. No wonder confidence took a coffee break… there wasn’t any room with all that negativity going on!

Im on the block in the middle.
Next event, I got up on the block with a little attitude. I stayed focused – reassured myself that I am good at this, and that I have worked hard and I WILL do well.
Guess what, the rest of my events went well. Surprise, Surprise.
Out of my 6 events… I walked away with 4 first place finishes, a 2nd and 3rd place. More importantly, I improved my times from the last swim meet, and put into real world practice a valuable lesson on confidence and positive thinking.

Monday night we had swim practice and…. IT…. WAS…. ROUGH!
Lots of drills and streamline kick. I thought my legs were going to fall off… especially only a day after our meet. But I swam with confidence and purpose. I reconnected with an old feeling I haven’t had since the day before my last tri race in Aug. - fire in my belly.

Welcome back my friend, it’s good to see you.

Great post on confidence: http://elizabethfedofsky.blogspot.com/


  1. YOU DID AWESOME CHERYL !!!! Awesome!!!!

  2. Way to clear your head & get focused at your meet Cheryl! Keep the fire going! -Kate