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What do I think about?

June 27, 2007

A lot of times I get asked what I think about when I’m swimming.  I wish I could say that I was working out a cure for cancer or solving quantum physics problems.  Unfortunately my thought process isn’t that deep.

On my first long distance open water swim in Lake Minnetonka (5 miles).  I had a few things that continually repeated through my mind for the whole 2.5+ hours. 

  1. Just Keep Swimming.  Just Keep Swimming.
    • I’ve never hated Disney so much as I did this day.  Now it has actually become a fairly funny mantra that I’ve passed along to as many people as possible.  I’m pretty sure that they don’t always have happy thoughts of me when Dori’s thoughts are running through their heads.
  2. Little Fish, Big Fish swimming in the water. Come back here and give me my daughter.
    • Ah the only words that I know to that PJ Harvey song.  Let me tell you this is not an inspirational song for swimming.  In fact, it kind of freaked me out.
  3. Why aren’t Katie and Dan driving the canoe straight?
    • I quickly realized that I was the one going crooked.

Now mainly when I swim in long distance, I try not to think about anything.  The first thoughts are to breathe in for 3 counts and out for 3 counts.  This helps me get over the gasp reflex when hitting the cold water.  Then I start swimming and continually state in my head 1-2-3 breathe, 1-2-3 breathe, 1-2-3 breathe, 1-2-3 breathe.  I know this is very profound, counting strokes and then breathing.  Other thoughts will come and go and I’ll definitely keep you all updated with any good ones, but the rhythm of 1-2-3 breathe tends to keep me calm and helps me focus on my swim stroke and keep my mind off the pain. 

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One Response to “What do I think about?”

  1. Courtney says:

    you know, i also used to just count or to repeat some prayer (back when i was more religious) to the point of not really being conscious of what i was thinking, like you say.

    i think at that point it becomes a sort of meditation — a physical-mental meditation — and that’s probably the best place to be.

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