This injury has had me going outside the lines I had so carefully drawn for myself. And this is a good thing. I needed to expand, to spread my wings! All this time I thought running was freeing me, and in some ways it was, but the truth is this injury has revealed to me that I used it to hide and to make myself smaller in a lot of ways. It has taught me to no longer confine myself.
Literally and figuratively.
This has happened in many ways for me. I’m not going to go into all of that now, but I will share that soon. Today I want to talk about how it’s taken me into the water, and has inspired me to start swimming. To explore myself and my abilities there. I’ve put on my water wings, so to speak!
In the start of 2017, I joined a Masters Swim class and have been attending every week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6-7:30AM. My coaches, Craig and Terri West, are incredible. I am so lucky to have found this group of inspiring athletes led by top-notch coaches who push me and believe in me.
In the start of the year Terri asked me to email her my swim goals, so she could help me. I sent her the following email:
Good morning, Jessica! I am so touched and moved beyond words right now for what you wrote. THANK YOU – you made my day! THIS is why I love doing what I do. And I know you understand that and can relate to that as a coach.
You are so grounded and have such a beautiful perspective on who you are and what you can accomplish in the future, as well as the patience to “be in the moment” – which so many people miss. I am thrilled with your experience in the water and being willing to learn and become “one with the water.” Growing up in the sport of swimming, I over-trained and under-performed to my abilities, and when I quit the NCSU team in 1986, I left hating the sport and myself. I embraced coaching and became a much better teacher than a performer and gained my love of the sport back.
If I can help you in any way, I am honored to do so. We most definitely can work on your technique and your goals together – and all while enjoying it and continuing to be your best self and good to yourself.
Thank you so much, Jessica, for this opportunity! I will enjoy this journey with you –
Isn’t she just amazing!? I believe that everything in life happens for a reason, and that people come into our lives when and how they do for a reason. My foot injury needed to happen in order for me to grow.
So I have decided I am going to enter my first ever open water swim competition. It is a local event here on July 22nd. I am going to do the 1 mile swim option of the Triangle Open Water Swim Series here in the Raleigh area in a local lake! Terri and Craig have been helping me learn how to be efficient in the water, and have been helping me build both my endurance and speed. I am learning so much every week, and am falling more and more in love with the water the more I do it. I know that I will return to running a stronger and even more grateful athlete.
Have you ever done an open water swim? Have you ever had an injury that you feel transformed your perspective about yourself as an athlete, and made you a stronger runner and person? This experience has taught me that without a doubt, our injuries can be our greatest assets in the long run. I would love to hear your stories!
Have a great weekend, everyone!