A lesson shared is a lesson strengthened….

There is one thing I think we can all share, this time has been crazy for all of us. While that obviously has implications into what I wanted to write about today, it’s not really what I wanted to talk about. It more goes towards my efforts to take better care of myself and continue to learn and grow throughout my life. Hence the title of this post, I am really hoping a lesson shared with all of you will equal a lesson strengthened for me personally.

The lesson is simple, I think we all need to remember to take better care of ourselves. I mean that in general for sure, but even more I think it’s in times of stress, motivation, pressure, drive, commitment, etc. As you may notice, it really doesn’t matter whether you have deemed it positive or negative at the time. There may be different paths taken for the positive or the negative, but the results on you can easily be the same.

My recent experience had both pieces involved I think, which led to a big impact on me personally. I’m sharing the lesson just to share, I’m not trying to compare to anyone else, as in the end, that doesn’t matter at all to the impact on myself. I do think it lets me explain a bit of where I think I need to strengthen my process and this post is part of that process.

Quarantine I think offered its own set of challenges to everyone. We were lucky enough to stay engaged with our TEAM during that time and really be able to shift our time entirely on working different pieces of the swimmers’ process. So the balance of time remained pretty normal to start and I do enjoy my personal time. Not the ideal situation by any means, but I had been able to find a good balance of a routine which included fun side projects like building planters or planting our garden. Then came time to see what we might be able to do to open up, and a committee of 5 was formed at the Center.

So in a driven fashion, looking forward to a way to get our swimmers back in the water for both their minds and bodies, I spent the next 6 weeks and roughly 12 hours a day for 7 days a week, focused on getting this all done in a safe manner for all of our members. This drive and commitment lended itself perfectly to achievement, and in those moments, it felt as if it was needed and I’d take care of myself after it’s all done, or so I thought. Then came the stress of the unknowns along the way, all of which could have ended up in nothing happening. So we had both going on in the positive drive for some type of achievement and the stress of situations that could have major impacts on day to day life, etc.

It all paid off and we were back in the water, so otherwise back to the “normal” days of planning workouts in the new environment, keep the TEAM informed and trained in the new procedures, and spend 4-5 hours a day at the pool. It wasn’t exactly the recovery time I was thinking I’d have to recover. The again, it wasn’t about the recovery time, it was more about the impact I allowed it to play on my normal daily process. Tough to turn the mind off that quickly, so sleep definitely fell off. Nutrition stayed on our foods, but turned into more snacking to get through versus meals. My daily meditations got replaced with “needing to jump into things”, as I allowed myself to believe I was in a good place because of the drive I was feeling to accomplish something instead of a true balance in my mind. When I needed it all most, I allowed myself to get distracted by achievement and failed to take care of myself along the way.

I need to learn that lesson for sure, but I like to question things a bit more as well. Yes, I can clearly see that I needed to stay on top of my process, but as much as that may be true, the results in those unilaterally focused and driven times are almost always great. I am very proud of the work we did as a committee, on behalf of the TEAM at the RBAC. It wasn’t about anything but getting things done and people back to doing something that means so much to them in their lives. So it is easy to see how we fall right back into those bad habits when that next goal, focus, or full commitment comes up.

It can be an addicting thing, that full commitment to something. The energy given at the time is often more than you’ve felt before, so can trick you into falling off of the other things that you have normally done to take care of yourself. And once you do, you are destined for a crash. Be it mental or physical, you are on a direct line for that crash and there will be way too much momentum to avoid it. For me it’s been physical this time, but man what a crash it has been and I have no intention of putting myself through that again, so I share it here with you in hopes of helping us all.

Remember to take care of yourself. It’s never wasted time, even when you don’t feel like you need it at the time. Some may need to learn what you need most first, and I highly suggest understanding those things. The trick then is to be committed to that process, especially when you don’t feel you need it, so you can avoid that feeling of need that much more in life.

Thanks for reading and hope it helps you…

3 thoughts on “A lesson shared is a lesson strengthened….

  1. Thank you for sharing and inspiring so many. This is really such an important lesson and a such a tricky balance. I am not sure if we always know when to press all out and when to recover but as always the key seems to be in the process. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff, thank you so very much for sharing your lesson learned! I feel that your view, that sharing will not only help lock it in for you but will very likely help others, is absolutely correct! Beautifully written and shared – well done! With huge pride an love, I am, your Pops.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As always – timely post to remind me that making time for my recovery and therapy MUST be a priority even when I am worried about pool time, virtual classes and the existence of high school season. My best to you, K and T

    Liked by 1 person

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