Friday, July 8, 2011

Brave Enough to Change Your Mindset

by Ryan

A year ago I would have never thought that I would be here today with the fierceness and fire to swim and sacrifice so much simply for the sake to do so. However, now sitting here in this position, I couldn't imagine it any other way.

My world has turned into something I could have barely dreamed before. Somehow I have pushed myself to become someone like the swimmer I have always dreamed of being; but I am not sure if my psyche knows exactly how to keep up.

Last week, I sat among Olympians and Paralympians eating their lunches and going about their days just as "real" people do. Some kept under a strict diet of fruits and veggies. Some consumed upwards of 5,000 calories in that meal alone. And some just sat in the dining hall to enjoy the company of their teammates.

After being named a part of the ParaPan American Games Team, part of the requirements were to join the rest of the team in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center for a meet and training camp for a few days over the summer. 

In the manner that I always seem to work myself up, I spent countless days and nights fretting about both meet and camp to the point where I think it actually affected my meet performance. Granted, I still swam my very best... but I couldn't help but feel that something extremely daunting and uncomfortable was holding me back. As always, it was myself. 

This training camp has taught me a lot, mostly about things that don't fit into a pool or sports complex of any kind. This camp taught me about how my mindset has to be as practiced and trained as the rest of my body. So for now, I will be spending extra attention and strength to get those things as fine-tuned as I am capable of so that the next time I spend a meal at the OTC, I won't feel like I have to question the invitation to do so.

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