Our Own Lane

August 18, 2014 at 6:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves. It has nothing to do with how many times you win or lose. It has no relation to where you finish in a race or whether you break world records. But it does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals.” 
– Kieren Perkins

It is almost a year since I ruptured my achilles and started rehabilitation after surgery. It has been an interesting process to say the least, one that has involved quite a few phases and many moments of uncertainty and having faith in the unfolding sequences of the journey. It has been a powerful 12 months, with so many opportunities, reminders and learning on offer. Some of that has been through the physical experience itself, some through the space and time that has been opened up as routines and patterns have changed but most importantly most of it has been through developing and committing to certain practices that have opened up a raft of unfolding new treasures.

One important set of reminders has come through being back in the pool. As I child I swam in squads, going up and down that thin black line often. Then as team sports took up more and more of my time, swimming laps became an activity that I did irregularly. Rehabilitating the achilles has seen swimming elevated again to my primary physical activity, with the metaphor of our own lane becoming one I have had much time to think about.

“The water is your friend…..you don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move”. 
– Alexandr Popov

The first swim back after surgery and a couple of months in the boot was amazing. As I took the boot off at the side of the pool and slowly hobbled into the shallow end, I experienced that freedom of effortless movement again as I glided out from the edge. No pain, no discomfort, just that feeling of ease once I let myself go.

“There is water in every lane, so it is OK.”
– Ian Thorpe (on being in Lane 5 for a final)

Sometimes when swimming my attention can drift out of my own lane. It could be a day when my mind is thinking ‘busy’ thoughts, it could be a day when I’m feeling tired and could be comparing what appears to be another swimmer’s ease to my own struggle, or any other distraction that takes me away from where I am at that particular moment. Becoming more aware of when my mind wanders and finding practices to kindly bring it back has rippled into all areas of my life.

“I can’t control what everyone else swims but if all goes well I know there are no limits.”
– Leisel Jones

When I am swimming I can keep going and going and going. The only limits are the ones that I determine on any given day. How far am I prepared to swim today? How will I challenge myself today? How much time have I allocated for physical activity on that day? What ripples do I want to experience from my connection to the activity?

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“When you stay in your own lane you don’t have to worry about the traffic.”
– Alexander Alvarez

How often do we as humans focus on wanting a particular result instead of creating positive ripples through practices we commit to? What practices allow you to unfold and experience the treasures that you seek in your life? What opportunities, reminders and learning are on offer to you throughout your day?

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