I was in a serious doldrums last week. I don’t mean ‘The Doctor when he saw Capaldi’s eyebrows’ kind of doldrums, I mean ‘Rose when she got stuck in an alternate dimension’ kind of doldrums. I did nothing on Monday and Tuesday except sit around my house, eating ice cream and watching Doctor Who reruns (as you might have noticed). That, of course, made me feel fat and lazy, which just added to my foul mood.
I moped and whined, and tried to figure out why I was so down.
By Wednesday I still had no idea. So with no way to fix my doldrums, I decided to ignore them. I dragged myself out of bed on Wednesday morning and over to the lake to swim 2km, a short distance for a marathon swimmer.
Normally I love being in the water, but on Wednesday my doldrums penetrated the lake. I swam slowly, trying to convince myself to work harder.
I couldn’t. I had no reason to. 22 August had seen the (successful) completion of my last major swim event for the season. With it done, I had no motivation to push myself in training. Or, for that matter, to train at all.
Once I identified one of the causes of my bad mood, the rest followed. I had no drive for swim training. I was finishing my final contract at work; with nothing lined up after it, I was soon to become over-educated and under-employed. And the relationship that I’d enjoyed all summer (he has a boat and took me to cool swim spots – how could I not fall for him?) appeared to be a fling and it was flung.
Enter, the doldrums.
I realised that if I could motivate myself in swim training, other motivations would follow.
So I joined the WeSwimBecauseWeCan Facebook group, started by Anoushka Bold. Members take on a 30-day, 100-day, or year-long mile-a-day swim challenge to raise money for cancer research. I committed to the 30-day challenge, told all my family and friends, and made a swim schedule.
Exit, the doldrums.
With renewed energy, I cleaned my house, completed a (granted very small) piece of contract work and even dealt with the issues with boat-man. And I remembered why I love to swim!
I am now on day seven of the 30-day challenge.
And it really is a challenge! One mile is not a long swim for me but it’s not trivial. And as someone who normally trains four times a week, I find swimming everyday both mentally and physically exhausting. Plus, my hair is drying out from daily washing. But I’m determined!
I’m proud of myself for progressing through the challenge. And I know that I need to complete this goal.
Last week, I swam around several of the Frontenac Islands. This week, I’m going to the pool with my dad, my favourite training partner.
Overall, the mile-a-day swim challenge is exhausting, time consuming, and a little tedious. But I’m so happy that I’m doing it!
Check back with me in 23 days.