Twenty Seven

“To stand in the fire of your deepest fears in passionate pursuit of your highest dreams is to rise to the realm of legends” (Robin Sharma)

I was swimming the other day- just fitting in another session; and I realised, I have only twenty seven more phone calls to make to my coach in Cape Town for my program. That is twenty seven more programs to get through before I pursue one of my highest dreams.

This has been a reality for me for some time now, but somehow, the number twenty seven made it so much more of a reality. When I started this year, something shifted in my mind as I realised there is no more place to hide. I have been dreaming and talking and planning this swim for over four years now and twenty seventeen has finally arrived. July is just around the corner. It’s like a little switch went off in my mind to allow me to put my head down and train despite the heat, despite the fatigue, despite the boredom.

It is not easy to train on your own. The sessions are long already and they are only going to get longer. I only get given 3 pool sessions a week and then I must do a ‘long swim’ on the weekend.  It’s tough to motivate myself to do a ‘long swim’ when the parameters are not defined. It is tough waking up to slog through two hours in a twenty nine degree swimming pool when it is over thirty degrees outside. It is tough to go swim in an indoor fifty meter pool at the end of a long day of work.

But, because of the switch in my mind and the reality of the clock ticking, I am able to will my body to obey my mind or vice versa and get through the sessions. It is also because of fear that I am able to keep going. Fear of failure, fear of disappointing myself and the people around me who believe me, fear of not reaching my full potential, fear of not having a bigger purpose or goal in which to live.

People often ask me what I think about when I swim for long sessions staring at a black line or in the ocean. Most of the time I actually just zone out. It’s my time out time, time out from the stresses of the day and time to just zone out. I can’t honestly tell you what goes through my mind for eighty percent of the session. Sometimes I get cool ideas or little epiphanies and a lot of the time I focus on my technique or count the lengths. I usually count in my long sea swims when I start to lose interest or get tired. I find the counting helps me stay focused and pass the time a little quicker. It allows me to focus on something tangible that is easily reachable but can change at the same time!

And so, the quote from Robin Sharma above is a fitting one for this week. I am standing in the fire of some of my deepest fears, conquering them with every session I get through and every barrier I break, hoping to rise to the realm of legends- not for my own glory, but for the glory of the one who gave me this dream.