Mantra Monday: Open Water Jellies, Er, the "Just Shut up and Do It" Version

What a beautiful morning for a swim.

That's along the causeway, where I've been complaining about, because underneath that calm, serene, gorgeous water that looks like glass, there is mud and muck and seagrass and sealife abound.

And I'm a big ol' wimp.

I was rockin out to some Linkin Park in the car coming over the causeway at 7ish in the morning, gettin all pumped up, and when I got out of the car to go swim, I took this mental picture with me.
Chrissie Wellington, who broke the women's Ironman World Championship record on Saturday in Kona, Hawaii (which kept me glued to my computer and my Twitter for a mere 10 hours).

And she didn't get there by whining about sea grass, that's for sure.

Sure, she swam 2.4 miles, biked 112, and then finished that all off with a marathon. And it's not like I'm doing that any time soon.

Therefore, in comparison, swimming a lame 1/2 mile in some muck made me feel pretty much kind of schmucky for complaining. My inspiration cup seriously overfloweth this weekend.

So I've decided to take the following approach: Just shut up and do it.

Since I'm such a head case, the more I talk in my head (even when I'm trying to talk myself out of something) the more likely I am to completelyutterlyobsess over it. The polar opposite of what it is I'm trying to do. So I tried this other tactic, the justshutupanddoit tactic, along with some helpful reading I have found online, and I, well, just shut up and did it.

And what do you know, it worked. It freakin' worked.

So because it is actually pretty common to fear the unknown lurking below you when you're swimming, there was no shortage of articles and tips on how to NOT freak the hell out, so I figured it couldn't help me to try some.

-Like, for instance, focusing on internal factors, like breathing and stroke, rather than external factors, like animals and living biting stinging organisms the environment and muck.

This helped very much, actually. I focused on my breathing and my stroke, and I kicked a little more wildly than I otherwise would have in an effort to scare off any outsiders. I had a little bit of inner panic going along the way and had to stop, but not like last time. I actually kept going (we swim along the shore to the big bush on the side and then back to where the cars are parked) and I got me through the first leg of the swim. Of which at the end, on my last two strokes or so, I look ahead of me and Wahh! A big ol' jellyfish right in my face, waving hello, right there. I could reach out and touch it. But of course I didn't. That would be crazy. I flailed about a little in a quiet panic and moved out of its way and then we waited for everyone to catch up before we started again (yes! I wasn't last!!) I was sure that by now, the floater had gotten far enough away (I was pretty sure since it was traveling at zero miles an hour, it actually probably was somewhere near me again but since I was in "just shut up and do it mode"I pretended it swam off to greener pastures.)

And then we swam back. On the swim back, I followed behind someone because I figured two people thrashing around together was better than one! And plus, I completely focused on her yellow swimcap. I let the swimcap guide me. Only two people were stung by something on this swim. The funny thing is, no one in my group cares or makes a big deal about anything. It's like eh, whatever. I got stung. So pretty much, if I do the math, something will get me one day. It's a mathematic certainty. But so what. I won't die. So whatever. (Right?)

-Another thing I did. Surround yourself with "the bad guy". I did this by accident. Some people fear the splashing and thrashing about of other swimmers because it makes them skip a breath and go into panic because they can't catch their breath. In this case, it helps if someone goes with you and splashes you in the face while you're swimming so you can get used to it. You let someone be the bad guy. I am actually fine with the thrashing about (it means no sea life will come and get me), but I do fear the floaties in the water, anything that touches me, really, and when it does (mostly grass) I skip a breath and start to panic. Fortunately for me, I got to swim directly through big patches of weeds that were floating in the water in bunches. And the more I did it, the more "at one" I became with things touching me. Amazing stuff.

Moral of the story? Whatever you're afraid of, completely immerse yourself in it.

So how much is it costing me $35 to tackle my fear of swimming among the murk with the jellies in the open water, you ask?

A mere 35 bucks. That's the cost of my trigroup membership.

Totally worth it.

Here's a little more of the shore. It's not a beach, it's along a causeway and people stand in the water and fish or they kayak here.

If you look really closely, there is some sort of fish or something going back below the surface. Yes, there's sea life in there, it's the sea. So just shut up and swim. Sorry. Talking to myself again.

After the swim, we biked and I realized why they like to swim here.

Because the bike is freakin fanastic.

It's on somewhat normally busy roads but traffic is light on Sunday morning, and there is a luxurious bike lane and the scenery is gorgeous! I complain about living in Florida (the heat, my God the heat!) but today was a day that I basked in it. It.was.GORGEOUS. Period.

After the run and bike, I was on top of the world.

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What's your mantra this week??? I'm convinced that setting yourself up for the week ahead sets the tone of my week. Wanna join me? Link up your mantra in the comments!

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