My totalitarian dictator of a swim coach

When I was young I was a swimmer. I spent a lot of time in the pool, doing laps, working on techniques, getting fitter, stronger, better.

All that mileage was just to get better at being more fish like. Perhaps, if you excuse the pun, more e-fish-ent …

Some days I felt great, some days I felt awful.

Sometimes I didn’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes I didn’t want to get wet, again.

But it was simply a case of applying what my coach said to the best of my ability, consistently.

My coach was a bit like a happy totalitarian dictator. You just submitted to the whim of his regime, completely.

You showed up and did the work the best you could, day in, day out.

That is the athlete’s life.

But the truth is anything you want to get better at is exactly the same.

Any skill requires nothing but practice. You practice, you do it every day, bingo, you get good.

It’s just about doing it again and again and again, no matter how you feel or what you think.

What ever you do - what ever you want to get better at - you need to ignore the doubts.

Don’t let those little doubts of “I'm not good” turn into beliefs that “you can never do it” because that means you stop doing it.

You put your doubts completely to one side - in fact bypass any limitation at all - by specifically engaging a system, a method of practice.

So instead of listening - and stopping - you just do - and you become great.

Now, being the best possible version of yourself involves the skill of mastering your mind.

In other words, get better at the inner game and the outer game shifts accordingly, and instantaneously.

The practice is to be completely present, aware and alive to this exact moment in time. Actually it involves not so much being present, but noticing your own Presence, beyond thought, beyond the body, beyond time.

(bit mystical that)

The system, or the method of practice, is to do that repeatedly. Constantly make the choice, return, no matter what the thoughts say, because they say all sorts of things. All you have to do is not listen.

Return. And once again, return.

What you want will become a habit if you engage this simple system.

If you need a tool to help, and I did, learn to Ascend. Think of it like a completely non-harmful performance enhancing drug for your practice.

Just makes the practice of return so much more simple and effortless.

Be smart, be smarter than Lance Armstrong and his buddies - next course here in Richmond is early April, either of the first two weeks, having a moment getting things scheduled at the venue  that I want.

It’s not so far to the train lines, you can stay if you like, there are B&Bs as well.

SImple, and easy, and totally performance enhancing.

I’ll let you know.

Thanks for reading, and have yourself a superb day.