Swimming Away the Clutter

Swam open water this week in Los Alamitos Bay, and for the first time wore a half wetsuit, sized to fit women 6’ or taller; clearly too big for me.  Still, that didn’t matter when the water is 60 something degrees.  I’ll take half warm over 100% freezing any day.

Within 10 strokes the over-sized suit dragged my shoulders causing me to huff & puff.  By 2/3 mile I was angry; moving slow and working hard. I should be further along by now.  The anger spurred other emotions; a negative birthday trip to Denver, a dissolving friendship, lingering questions about the business … what’s the purpose of promoting CSR when most business leaders only care about being perceived as good, responsible. Hypocrisy.

The emotional fight spread outward to the water. My form, breathing and mindset struggled.  Physically felt like slapping the water instead of cutting through it.  Then reality.  My negative emotional under-current weighed me down.

How did I forget the essential Ironman lesson learned in 2010 – one stroke, one pedal, one step at a time. Relax. Calm the mind. Breath. Focus on the moment.  More importantly, enjoy the moment.

Finally I tapped into it and soon enough cut through the mental clutter and the water, finishing strong.

The takeaway – Don’t let uncontrollable events dictate your life.  That’ll cause mental clutter, which will weigh you down like an over-sized wetsuit.