As soon as you start to learn some swimming, the next thing you want to do is try to do it more. And if possible without getting tired. The constant motion of hands, legs and co-ordination of head for breathing is exhausting. And when you see the kids do their routine with a smile, it fires you.
You wish for the day when your stamina goes and secretly wish to beat the kids. How can they swim effortlessly and you almost die trying to do one single lap.
It is unfair. Maybe they have bigger lungs. Or their body is small so they don’t need much effort to swim. Since my body is big – I need more energy. Similarly you try to give all kinds of false reason to justify your defeat.
Let’s dive in the basic of not getting tired gradually while you swim…
Day 1 vs Day 100
If you compare your day 1 with someone who has completed their day 100 then you will feel like a failure. When you go to the swimming pool, there are people who have joined today. And also there are people who have been swimming for decades.
It doesn’t make sense to compare their speed and ability to do non-stop laps with yours.
It is like you are comparing your skills against an Olympic athlete, she has been training hard for years. You can’t match that up with few months of practice.
The better comparison is your day 1 vs day 100. Are you progressing in the upward direction, staying consistent or going bad. What others are up to shouldn’t be your concern. You aren’t going to compete in the matches – if you do then you should compare other metrics. Else, for the majority we are here to learn the skill and upgrade it to a good enough level.
So try to achieve that. Don’t get into trying to beat someone in their ability. Because chances are you won’t be able to anyway.
Of course, you want to sprint and level up fast. Time is of essence – you want to capitalize on it asap.
But in my experience, it is better if you leave it to the natural process of your body. Go and practice your daily thing. Once a week or so try to push yourself. And then repeat the process. You will find that after sometime your skills do get leveled up.
It is natural process. Do anything for long and the incremental benefits add up. Before you know or realize you are already on the next level.
Go ahead try to do 10 push ups – if you can then good. Else, do whatever you can do – say 2 or 3. Do 3 push ups everyday for the next week. Then do 4 for the another week. Doing this keep on adding 1 each week – if you are persistent each day then on week 10th you will be able to do 10 push ups. If not, then push further and you would be able to see upward momentum. The same magical rule applies to every other field.
Growing your current capacity is okay but you shouldn’t lose your power to do the defined normal. If you can do 5 laps minimum then do it whenever you go to swim. Don’t settle for anything below that because it help you maintain a minimum low point.
Once you train your mind to do that, you will grow. Because then the only option is to stick to 5 laps or do one more. One less is never an option.
The alternative is to become lazy – push the day of swimming to the next day. Or when something comes up, you end of postponing the activity again and again. At the heart of it, you need to realize the decision has to be made.
Once you have made up your mind – that you need to do this thing then the question is what time should I do it. The question is never should I because you have already answered that. As Seth Godin says, there isn’t a single day when someone says I was so busy I forgot to eat lunch for 2 days. That doesn’t happen almost ever.
40 Percent Rule
I read blogs a lot of them. Sometimes I find myself on a journey of hours where in I read 40 articles in a day. Also, sometimes I read a book – listen to podcasts and interviews. It is fair to say, I am consuming a lot of content. But I am on the creating side too – so it helps me focus and give the output.
On one of the blog I read about a concept of 40 percent rule. It stated that when you think you are done for the day – in reality your have just completed your body’s 40 percent.
Just try something right now – maybe push ups. And when you feel tired – that you are done for the day, go for one more. I can bet you will be able to do that extra push-up.
It is this pushing the extra that you help you go and upgrade your ability. So next time you think you are done, do one more lap. Try this at least once or twice a week to steadily grow.