Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beta Wave Addicts

Whenever I hear swimmers and other athletes comment on a long pool swim as "boring", I cringe.  I have never been bored during a workout. Tired or spent yes.  But bored?  Never.  Some swimming experiences are more enjoyable than others, but rarely is a swim ever "torturous".

Don't know where I saw this article, but it made me think about this topic.  One thing that I will never buy is a waterproof MP3 player.  I do see those showing up more and more in the pool.  When I watched Diana Nyad's documentary she wore an MP3 on several of her long training swims.  That was disappointing.  Those audio devices could be used as an aid to keep a high paced tempo, but that's not what bothers me.  It's the idea of being in the moment, aware of the water, its influence on your body, being aware of your thoughts (or lack thereof), and your inner self.  Using something to distract your senses with information that has nothing to do with the experience only robs you of the moment.

I recently was talking with another swimmer on the phone about underwater mp3 players and how they are now against the standard Marathon Swimming Rules which has been widely accepted and wholeheartedly support.  If you consider a long swim without music boring, consider going into marathon dancing, not swimming.

In the latest H2Open Magazine, Shaun Bater asked a question: "After a mile [of swimming in the pool] I am bored to tears! How do people switch off and just keep going?"  Three experts provided answers, Adam Walker, Colin Hill and Dan Abel.  I especially liked Colin Hill's response.
"That feeling of 'boredom' you have is because swimming a long way is mentally tough and you just have to get used to coping with it if you really want to be a long distance swimmer, by training your mind and your body for long swims."
Dan Abel discussed Alpha brain waves, which is something I have talked about before.  I've done some long swims in the pool and yes it is possible to do a long pool swim without getting bored, it just takes some mental conditioning and practice.

This afternoon I was able to convince two SDM swimmers to participate tomorrow morning in the One Hour Postal swim.  I'm meeting them at the pool tomorrow and I'll be taking their splits.  Excited that there are swimmers who are relatively new to distance swimming and making an effort to give it a try and to expand their swimming universe.

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