For those who know me personally, I have always been my worst critic. I have never been known as a negative person, nor even much of a realist-- until it pertains to ME. I will be the first to point out that flaw, or to stifle and undue happiness, or to disregard any kind of praise whatsoever-- only when it pertains to ME.
However, when concerning the other 99.99% of the world's population, I am much more likely to be called a dreamer, or an optimist, or maybe even just a really nice person. But for one reason or another, it is so difficult to behave in that normal nature within myself.
Throughout the course of the swim meet, that pessimistic me was going full force. When people referred to my American records, I scoffed and usually added something about it being "silly" or "not real records." I created this nasty little voice inside of my head that was unwilling to let me be happy.
It wasn't really until I had some time to debrief and let some of those other dances in that I realized something quite profound for that nasty me: I obviously wasn't able to accomplish such a feat before.
Somehow in some sort of double-negative existence, that pessimistic view canceled out the prior one and.... POOF!... they both disappeared.
What I was left with was this: The realization that at a decade in time before today I didn't have the strength nor the courage (either physical or otherwise) to compete in a manner that I did this weekend. I hadn't had that power inside of me to experiment upon my own will and challenge the value of that conscious effort. I hadn't deserved any of it, until now.
And that was that. All of those notions of negative blankets no longer covered my mind, nor my eyes. I feel a giant release in my own self-discovery.
I knew that this process was about more than just swimming, but I am so curious now to challenge that very idea just to see how far it actually takes me, inside and out.