December 6th 2023
Swim Distance 1.8km
Air temp Not quite Baltic
Donate here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/al-mennie
Last night was favourable. The night was dark, heavy grey cloud and raining. The sea was choppy with three foot waves breaking frequently. I'm going to use this blog post as an opportunity to go into more detail about this stage in the process rather than talk too much about the swim but wanted to note the details as usual.
Giving up or staying the course?
In my own experience there is a particular point when doubts start to creep in as we try to make changes or tackle something in life. The start is the hardest point but I find it is a short lived struggle. Then I find I tend to get moving in whatever the thing is I’m dealing with fairly quickly. It is kind of like starting at the gym, the first time going is a big struggle for many reasons for the individual but once you are there it is generally ok. Things go well for a few times, you might even see progress in not just mind, but body too. Then suddenly the new found you takes a confidence hit. A new struggle of adaptation, fatigue and trying to recover between gym sessions whilst having to live the same life and daily chores etc you are used to kicks in. Thoughts of ‘this is too much, I don’t know if I can keep this going’ etc creep up. I think that’s where I am right now. I’ve been here before in many walks of life as probably have you reading this. This is the exact moment it is important to keep going, find a way, alter the details but keep going. It is this time period where the body and mind adapt and find the new rhythm. Through the doubts, routine will come alongside and will be there when we break through this phase of doubt.
The alternative is we give up, slide back to what we were before, make excuses, justify our failure as someone else’s fault or something out of our controls fault. The truth is, we rarely actually give up completely without good reason. Many of us may give up on the first attempt but return at a later date, better equipped in body and mind. So, did you really give up or did you make several attempts to succeed over the longer time frame and in fact progress is actually occurring albeit at a different rate to what you maybe expected at the outset? How you perceive what you do makes a difference to how your mind and body adapt. We do not overcome struggles in one fell swoop, it takes time, there are phases and those phases are different for every single person and situation in life and they are made more difficult by having unfair expectations put on us by ourselves.
For that reason we must use all available internal and external resources to overcome any pull from the negative emotions and thoughts to drag us back. These are some of the foundations I use to keep me going and I hope you can find similar motivators in your world that help you break free from the doubts and break through this very important phase in the journey. The reason these three things are important is that they are foundations to rely upon when everything else goes to shit. When I start to feel unwell, start to feel doubtful, these three foundations help keep me upright and going.
This is of paramount importance. I’m not a nutritionist or diet expert but for me I have a particular way of eating that works for me. I tend to focus on whole foods over everything else. In fact I think if I cooked for you, you would think I’m mad. I focus on whole foods because they are nutrient dense. I’m constantly trying to prevent myself getting sick and to recover from exercise quickly. I’m not going into all the details of my diet in this post but one thing you should consider in your own intake of food is…
Does this food fuel the machine? Ask that question and you will probably start to cut out crap foods and replace them with foods that satisfy your body and mind needs rather than your taste buds needs. Thats not to say eat food you don’t like but I find thinking of the body and mind as a machine and then giving it the right fuel to perform is a better way to make me consume proper nutrition.
What your ears consume is what your mind consumes. Everyone has a personal taste in music. You might love singing along to music in the car or whatever and that is probably a great way to boost your mood but listen to the words. Listen to what you are hearing, repeating and absorbing. Lots of music is about misery, hurt etc. While there is a place for that try also to think about the lyrics and music you consume again like fuel for the machine, seek out tracks with sounds and lyrics that are positive, motivating and get into your mind. They will be there in your mind for you to summon when you need that extra drive in your life.
You are the current final point in the bloodline of your family. You are the future. You are more capable and powerful than you realise.
Find your own foundations and build them solid, make them purposeful, make them relevant to you and your aspirations.