My biggest mental issue this week has been in the water. It seems that some of my open water anxiety has been creeping its way back into the pool with me for no real reason other than I am not back to 100% quite yet with my breathing since being sick, and this seems to make me a bit panicky when I swim. I hate feeling the tightness grip my chest as I struggle to get into a good breathing pattern. It immediately takes me into panic mode which of course makes the breathing worse and then it just snowballs. I have figured out that I fear feeling the panic more than I fear the water itself. It's the things that tend to trigger the panic that I try so hard to avoid, but they are inevitable when you swim - the fast breathing, the fatigue with exertion, the pressure of speed and performance, so I just have to find a way to deal with the mental aspect of swimming. I can't figure out what to think, or not think about, when I swim. Sometimes I try to think of things that make me anxious when I am in the pool (like the murkiness of open water, swimmers bumping into each other, or getting exhausted half-way through the swim portion of a race and having to be pulled in by the support crew) in hopes that it will desensitize me for when I am in those situations. I'm not sure if I should think about things that make me panic so I can get over them, or focus on not thinking about them and pray like crazy that they don't creep into my mind on race day. I am trying to find something calming that I can consistently rely on to focus my thoughts and allow me to continue when I start to get a bit freaked out. So far I haven't come up with anything, but I'm working on it.
The whole water issue is so ridiculous that I hate to waste my time thinking about it, but it is such a real source of anxiety I can't pretend it's not there. I just keep thinking repetition, repetition, repetition will eventually make it go away. I can only imagine how good it must feel to swim without that panic always in the back of my mind. Every so often I feel myself in "the zone" when I am in the water and I love it and feel like I could swim forever. I wish I could figure out how to get that feeling every time.
Training Scheduled: 12:21
Training Completed: 12:21