How I am overcoming aches, niggles and mind chatter while swimming the channel

At the moment I am doing the Aspire swim channel challenge 2020 in the pool

  1. To remove any anxiety with being out of control in the water
  2. To show I can challenge myself to push without killing myself
  3. Raise some money for those with spinal injuries… well that is a massive bonus.

So far I am nearly 7 miles in…

Now with challenges like this are done in short periods of time. This means the competitor in me feels I have to really push myself.

Have you really pushed yourself when not fully ready?

Well, having to do 21 miles in 12 weeks is roughly 118 miles a week in a 25 metre pool is a BIG task

Now, if you are someone, like me… a leisurely swimmer (that’s overly competitive) coming back to the pool after a long time away, it can feel very daunting. In particular, for me… I tried to channel my inner athlete and…

Ended up with neck, shoulder and inner groin pain.

On a mindset level, it brought up an old belief that I have to self punish myself in the task of doing this. The, if you can’t do it, then I will force you to…

And while I’d LOVE to beast through and have recognition for the fact I have messed up my body in the process. I’d rather not. I’ve no competitor next to me, this is NOT a competition, nor do I need to bring that self hate into my life anymore.

I LOVE exercise! I had to break my exercise addiction to get to this point.

Instead I accept, I am competitive with myself and learn how do I work in a balanced nature to complete it, rather than deplete myself.

I know I can do this, I know I can gently push through my mindset without making any pains worse and then having to take a sabbatical to heal.

So instead, I listen to my body… and rested! Then journaled if she is fearful, if she tired, or is she pushing way to hard, and what is MY happy medium is.

Because my god, she can swim a mile in a session. Even in two sessions back to back. But, that can prove god damn crazy even for someone active like me and BTW… I am NOT normal.

Taking advantage of what I have learned

I think to myself to take on both PT role (to cheer myself on), correct my form, look at my nutritional needs and connect that to aspects of intuitive coaching to swim slower, do less, dump my mind chatter and relax my technique.

Firstly, I rest. There’s zero point in making niggles worse… something I learn early on in my PT career. Instead, I worked with my clients to ease them, allow them chance to heal and then gave them what they needed. Including adding their physio or chiropractor routines to our sessions too.

For me, from lifestyle point of view I knew I have been hiding some pressure. The pressure I have put on me (do you ever do that?) and that I needed to take the ‘weight of the world’ off my shoulders, relax (to allow circulation) in my hip flexors and pop on the old goggles to get my head in the water to ease my neck, instead or ducking around.

Whatever is going down in our life is flagging up in our body

I’ve 1-2hrs in the pool while the kids are at school and have stop wasting time on my phone to so.

It’s pretty cold (yet sunny) outside (well, it is October) and the pool is pretty warm and inviting.

I’ve my bottle of water waiting for me to drink, you have got to keep up your fluids doing this for sure and with the mind chatter I have been having due to no longer having the phone for company, I feel it’s time to heal not only my swim stroke but the anxiety of having zero control.

In this exercise, I have to remember that… I am here to

  • Look after my shoulder and groin… the neck is fine now.
  • Listen to my thoughts
  • Breathe and surrender (truly relax)

So, what do you do?

  1. Slow it down – it’s not a race!! As much as I LOVE recognition feeding my self esteem. I am sooo much more worthy than that. Instead, I am here to praise myself. Be my own PT and coach.
  2. Work on your technique, technique is everything – Notice how technique is affected when we exercise when under pressure than when relaxed
  3. Heal mindset – I am here to work on my shoulder, the shoulder is connected to worry, pressure (think weight of the world) that I put on me. It’s time to stop sweating the small stuff. You may notice that when under pressure and your put yourself into a silent state (with zero music) that your mind whirls with incessant chatter. Is it time to listen? Yet, kind and objectively.

As I get to lap 30 (with zero pain), I realise that it’s the getting competitive with ‘bob’ (that’s what I will name him) in the next lane and I lose my form. Instead, I start to focus on me and my movements under water, my breathing, how beautiful it is while bobbing up and under while focusing away from others and only on myself and my own time. Especially while I have has a logical conversation with my worry that’s being dying to speak to me. By lap 50, I have a beautiful flow going. It’s turned night-time and the pool lights come on… purples and greens… my mind is now satisfied and at ease. I feel a true sense of silence. I could speed up the next 10 laps, however I don’t. I continue to ignore everyone else coming to equally enjoy this moment outside in the dark.

The long, slow movements, ahhhhhh… relaxed, my shoulder and my hips are at ease to get ready for more adventures like swimming in secret lagoons…

It’s always great to rest when pain arises with any challenge, otherwise it risks further injury.

Is it time to add some other techniques to aid strengthen you? In terms of my shoulder and groin… it’s core strength, such as yoga, Pilates

Maybe join the VIP Alternative Personal Training membership HUB for this weeks core exercise to help alleviate shoulder pain. There you will have access to our online training academy, private Facebook group and Nurture Room.

Trina xx

Body and mindset business coach

Are you seeking something new approach to exercise and have tried everything else? Let’s start the process to be your best self to achieve ultimate health. Click here to book your free 45 minute 1-1 health call. 1-1 coaching starts from £1495 for the first 5 women who sign up. £2495 thereafter.

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