Awareness. A couple of weeks ago at the Boulder Aquatic Masters swim practice our coach Sinead O’Dwyer told us to swim backward. Heads turned. Confused looks abounded. What? Backward? Swim….backward? Sinead smiled her amazingly warm and affirming smile and confirmed for us that, yes, she did indeed want us to swim backward. Reverse your stroke she said. Swim in reverse.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from Sinead’s coaching this year, it’s to train smarter, not harder. In order to train smarter, you must increase awareness. You must know where your body is in space and time. You must be intentional with your movement. You must feel what you’re doing. And, swimming backward made us do all those things.
100 yards of backward slowed us down, made us aware of every nuance of what we were doing and feeling, and made us intentional. 100 yards of backward made us vulnerable to the process of swimming, something we were comfortable with going forward just moments before. 100 yards of backward made us feel, intensely. 100 yards of backward reinforced how important it is to stop, and yes, sometimes go backward in order to go forward intentionally, efficiently, and effectively.
100 yards of backward made 1,000s upon 1,000s of yards forward more meaningful.
I wonder where you need to take a few moments to go backward? Where would going backward serve you in going forward intentionally, efficiently and effectively? Where do you need to raise awareness and increase meaning in your life?
Take Sinead’s coaching and do it.
Go Backward Into Awareness.