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Be Your Own Hero

SwimDream76 by Thomas VollerFor eight months I keenly waited for my Super Hero to come and rescue me, but all I met was one villain after another. Dodgy health, bereavement, burnout, plumetting performance, demotivation – you name it. I kept waiting for some kind of heroic action from a strong guy in spandex with big pecs, but the man never came. Super Heroes are so overrated. They’re never there when you need them. Super Heroes stink!

But then again, one Sunday morning back in August, I came across my own reflection and it struck me. No more waiting for Fate to come round! My hero was right there, just in front of me. I can be my own Super Hero!

SwimDream76 by Thomas VollerIt was time to quit this fatality nonsense and get myself in the right frame of mind. After all, we are all the results of our efforts. Our own efforts – not some super dude’s.
So the equation is quite simple: RESULTS = YOU + EFFORTS. Or put in a different way – no efforts, no results, no Super You. Time to get to work, bitch! 😎

Step 1 – Reality check
Instead of focusing on where I wish I were in my training by mid-August, I asked myself a more relevant question – where do I stand right now? I let go of the expectations and chose to focus on my current capabilities. Where did I really stand, back then in August? What were the facts?

  1. My training was disrupted and inconsistent.
  2. As a result, I’d lost too much strength and power in the water. My swimming didn’t feel effective anymore. I barely passed my 1500 m-test in the club and I clocked my worst time ever at the Christianborg Rundt meet.
  3. I’d put on 13 kilos from binge eating.

Step 2 – Values assessments
Now that I had defined my present spot, the next question was “how much does it mean to me?”.

  1. I missed my team and my training. I missed the feeling of release and escape from my work and my everyday life. I missed my me-time and my adventures. So yes, training means a lot to me. It’s part of who I am today.
  2. Deep down I was extremely disappointed with my results and frustrated about being way behind my swimming pals when I used to be as fast as them. It was a huge setback – both physically and mentally. My confidence had taken quite a knock. So yes, performing at my very best means a lot to me. Especially in the light of my bigger goals. The stronger and more efficient I swim, the better are the chances I’ll make it over the Fehmern Belt and the English Channel.
  3. I felt terrible about putting on that much weight. I’ve been there before (see Hall of Shame) and this new Dab Bod trend is not an option for me). Of course I care about esthetics, but losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean I’m striving to resemble some photoshopped gash hunter on a cheap paper bag from Abercrombie & Fitch. It’s about me feeling good and facilitating my active lifestyle. 13 kilos is a lot and as I make a living out of running, I can’t afford to put on that much weight. Because of gravity 13 kilos af useless self-pitty fat would be like running around with 25-30 extra kilos in a backpack – it’d be nothing but torture for my joints and my tendons. So, do I want to feel great about myself? Yes, I do! Do I want to sustain my sport and way of living for many years to come? Yes, I do!

Step 3 – Cementing my new strategy
I had determined my present spot and I had defined my values. Now was the time to figure out my next move, how to close the gap and reach my destination.

  1. I sat down with Martin and I started all over again with my weekly schedule. I reviewed my job and finances as well as my spare time (e.g. less Facebook, more time to myself 😉 ). I enrolled in a second swimming club with evening sessions so I have more time to work uninterrupted during regular office hours. I planned new weekly sessions with my personal swimming guru Susanne for the next 30 weeks. In other words, I found a new and more sustainable structure for my everyday life, and I committed to it.
  2. I sat down with Susanne and we defined new realistic goals based on my current physical capabilities. Now I have clear long-term, middle-term and short-term goals to focus on. It highlights my gradual improvements and keeps me motivated.
  3. I called in my mental snack patrol and went on a diet. Two months later, I’m already back at my normal weight. It has taken time and determination – and it has also earned me condescending remarks from a few self-proclaimed House & Garden queens, lecturing me about how asocial I am when I refrain from eating dessert and drinking alcohol. But who cares about what you think, Miss Bucket? I’ve made my point about my weight loss. If you leave me to my so-called asocial lifestyle, I’ll leave you to your cafe latte and we’ll both live happily ever after.

Step 4 – Harvesting
A few months later, the inevitable question comes up: Does all his jabbering pay off at all?

  1. I have definitely reconnected with my training and most importantly with my team. I feel stronger, more dedicated and happier than ever. I’m pretty sure I’m less depressing to live with for Martin. 😉 I feel my work, my sport and my private life are much more in harmony.
  2. My swimming is improving very quickly – I’m almost back where I was in 2013 when I was at my best. Needless to say I feel pretty high! 😎
  3. My clothes fit again, my running has benefited from my weight loss and I like what I see in the mirror. I feel awesome! 😀

SwimDream76 by Thomas VollerSo yes, I feel I’ve finally made my way out of the darkness. Instead of chasing the light at the end of the tunnel, I switched on my own headlamp and I let it show me the way. I feel I’ve managed to put in place what needed to be done. I’m making the efforts and the results are already showing. I feel empowered.

Next time you feel at a low ebb, maybe you too can find help in my new mantra. “You are the result of your efforts”. Stop expecting and take a look in the mirror. Face yourself, embrace the facts and start acting on them.

Be Your Own Hero!


1 reply »

  1. Hej Francois Du skal glæde dig til den engelske kanal – det er fedt at starte i bælg mørke og se solen stå op mens man svømmer🏊🏊🏊🏊🏊 B

    Den 16. okt. 2015 kl. 20.41 skrev SwimDream76 :

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