“Tobey! Your arms are moving so slowly it’s like they are in a cryo freezer!”
Despite wearing my fluorescent orange putty ear plugs, I could hear my coach’s words from across the pool, and I thought, “He is absolutely, 100%, without a doubt…right.” Sigh.
For anyone who has followed my triathlon career, it is very evident by my race splits (and my constant whining), that the swim is definitely my least favorite part of the swim-bike-run race. Doing the same stroke over and over again wasn't making me any faster. I needed to make a change. No more cryo arms.
Have you ever felt there is a part of your life that is frozen? A project that is stuck? An exercise routine that just isn’t getting you anywhere? You have good intentions. You may even take some steps towards your end goal. And yet, nothing really changes?
Thomas Jefferson said it best when he advised,
“If you want something you've never had, you must be willing to do something you've never done.”
If the change you CRAVE means more to you than anything else, and if you have truly had enough of where you are, then there is only one way out of your rut:
Change your action = get a different result.
Keep CONSISTENT with this action, and over time, the results change you beyond the point of no return. You have now formed a new habit. You have shifted your paradigm. Your set of beliefs have grown. Your limitations...broken.
Recently I attended training conferences in Las Vegas and Park City. I studied with the best leaders in my fields.
I took notes. I listened. I learned. But it is all meaningless, unless I put this knowledge into action.
In my business, massive action may seem hard to measure at first. But in the pool? It was staring me straight in the goggles.
When I searched for the meaning of “cryo freezer,” the most common definition included this description: “At low enough temperatures, any enzymatic or chemical activity which might cause damage to the material in question is effectively stopped.”
When we fail to move towards a new goal, we subconsciously protect ourselves from a new action which may cause damage to our comfortable lives.
“You have to speed up the arm cadence,” my coach encouraged. “You know when you are just cruising on the bike or the run and your legs are turning over easily? Swimming is the same thing, but with your arms.”
I loved his analogies. Bring it back to something I like. Distract me from this cube of chlorine I am floating in.
And so, I pushed off the wall and wailed my arms overhead.
WHIZZ! SMACK! REACH. KICK.
I felt like a spaz. I know that the fastest swimmers are the most efficient. I felt like a windmill that had just spun off its base and was crashing through the water. Look out! Save yourself!!
This action felt foreign. It felt different. It felt wrong!
When I got back to the wall, I looked through my blurry, oh-so-attractive, bug eyed goggles at my coach. I fully expected him to confirm my thought that I looked strange (and a bit dangerous) with my new stroke.
But he didn't. Instead, he had the biggest smile on his face. Almost like he saw something he just never quite thought he would see…
I looked like a real swimmer!
Well, for 50 meters. But it counts!
I had reached. Stretched. And flailed so differently than before, that I was utterly exhausted and needed to rest. I would never be able to swim like that in a race. UNLESS…I practiced. Every day. It was a new skill.
Like any new skill, I need to train the muscle to support the action.
So what is sitting in your cryo freezer? What big goal do you have, but fear is keeping you frozen in your tracks? What new action have you tried, but exhaustion made you think you should stop?
Define WHY you want this goal. Your answer will fuel your fire. Then take consistent, massive action.
But maybe do it without the flailing arms? Or the goggles?
4000 meters here I come,