This is a guest post from my friend, fellow triathlete, and Total Immersion swimmer Jacques Adams. I met Jacques 14+ years ago, then was in his company in March 2018 in Montreal. He shared this story with the group of swimmers during a workshop I was teaching. It was so well said that I asked him to share it with all of you. cheers, Celeste
“I started Tri’s many years ago doing one race per year.
The pattern was pretty well the same in the early years: start the swim, hyperventilate after 200m, rest for a moment to regain my composure and then get going again to eventually finish the race. Not a pleasant experience.
My daughter wanted to start triathlon and I thought best to get some help and coaching. One of the camps I attended was a Tri-camp run by Celeste that included a TI swim component. This was 14 years ago. Since that time I have attended a number of workshops and open water camps to refine and improve my swimming.
My first thought when starting a race is always the same. I feel the need to arrive a day early and test the swim to build my confidence. There are still doubts, the buoys are far away, the water is dark…but after 24 half Iron events and 3 IM, races have taken a similar pattern.
I know now to dispel the doubts, put on my wetsuit and go for a warm up swim. The gun goes off, time to go into the water. The first 200-300m, I find space and gradually warm up. Continue to the first turn buoy, find my slot, get through then build rhythm. This is the best part of the swim. Rhythm gradually builds to a ZEN state. Perfect control and ease. Mindful, but relaxed. Effort yet effortless.
I awaken from this state and now plan the approach to the beach. Out of the water on to the bike.
The swim is the best part of the day…”