A funny thing happened today at the pool.
The woman in the lane next to me asked if my bag said “Ironman” on it. I said yes, Ironman 70.3. She asked if I had done that. I said yes, last year- and this time didn’t follow it up with a bunch of qualifiers. I didn’t share my long story about how I did the whole race but officially didn’t finish the swim course and was disqualified, that I wasn’t very fast, that it was miserably hot and that I hated it. I just said yes, it was a lot of work. She said that was amazing.
And I was reminded- you know, that was pretty amazing.
As I swam my next set of 500, I thought about this idea of the stories we tell ourselves- and how we start to manifest the things we tell ourselves.
I tell myself that I’m not very fast. I’m not a fast swimmer. I’m a decent cyclist, but I don’t ride enough. I’m not a runner, and I always get injured when I run. I tend to swim 2:00/100 yards, run a 10-11 minute mile, and average 15-18 mph on the bike. And I’ve consistently held those numbers for more than two years.
If these are the stories I’m putting into the universe, the stories I believe, then of course I’m going to manifest my destiny as a slow swimmer, decent cyclist, and limping runner. If I think of my swim pace being 2:00/100, if I’m happy when I manage a 10 minute mile, if I see 15mph on my watch and am satisfied… then it’s no wonder those paces continue to be my reality.
I started to think- what if I didn’t label myself as slow? I don’t have to try some reverse psychology and tell myself I’m a fast swimmer. That doesn’t feel authentic to me. But what if I was a swimmer pushing myself as hard as I am capable each set? What if I was a runner who laces up three times a week to run the hills around my house and rock out to some music? What if I was a cyclist who enjoys the occasional outdoor ride but has more fun in spin class? What if I just accepted my actions as good for my body and trusted the process of consistency and hard work?
And as I thought about all of this I ticked off my 10th lap, checked the clock and did a double take. I swam my 500 in 9:15- a 1:54/100.
Remove your labels. Check your limits. Enjoy the process.
Your task this week: Think about the stories you tell yourself and what it would look like if you removed those labels. Share below!