I managed to swim my 44th Midmar on Sunday, and completed my 5th time swimming for the 8 Mile club. Endurance sport gives you lots of time to think, so here are a few thoughts from the weekend.
- I really had the best time ever. Other years have had various challenges thrown in, but this year everything seemed to come together. I suspect I will coach my squad from outside the water on Wednesday but will be back in the water on Friday.
- As I said in the introduction, endurance sports give you a lot of time to think. I sang songs in my head and realized how many words I couldn’t figure out. I wrote this blog, and a few others, and although I have forgotten most of my thoughts, I thought about the things that I love, my family and all that I do at SBR Sport. I had lots of happy thoughts.
- I also had a few negative thoughts. As the weekend progresses, so too does the quality of swimmer. On Sunday you have the age group races, which means that the competitors’ levels of aggression go up as your levels of tiredness increase. On the 30th time that you are clubbed over the head, and on the 80th time that someone suddenly cuts on front of you, you can go through a humor dip. A little voice goes off in your head that asks, rather indignantly, “What on earth are you doing here?” Facing those thoughts and working through them is one of the most important aspects of endurance sport. I am not sure who said this, but it’s it is so true, “If your why is strong enough, you will figure out the how.” Life is sometimes a battle, and if you are going through one at the moment, figure out first why you want to win, and the how/strategy will come after that.
- Each race has a different group that it caters to. There is a corporate challenge, a family race, the age group races etc. My favorite is the first race. There are two reasons for that, I am at my freshest and best for that one, but more importantly, there are a number of handicapped swimmers that compete in it. There is nothing more humbling than watching someone who is physically challenged entering the water, and so often people who have overcome the biggest challenges have the biggest smiles.
- The organizers of Midmar really know what they are doing and put on a superb event. The same must be said about the 8 Mile Club organizers.
- The water levels were the lowest that I have ever seen. This drought has really bitten hard- the organizers moved the start back so that it was a legitimate mile. The water was also a bit more murky than usual.
- On a personal note, I became the 33rd person to have completed 5 x 8 Mile Club events.
Hope to see you swimming, biking and running soon.