PDA

View Full Version : IT is hard not to compare yourselves to others!!!!



cathlaur
September 22nd, 2007, 10:18 AM
Hey all

As some of you may have read I started swimming with a masters program on the 7th of Sept after 22 years ( give or take a year LOL) I am 41 mom of 2, work full time , had thyroid cancer ( but now it is gone:cheerleader:) I am also 25 to 30 pounds overweight since my surgery.

Getting back into the pool was tough but now I love it ( the first day was the worst I was nervous). The problem is I think I should be swimming like I did when I was younger and I am comparing myself to the others in the pool. The coach says that I am doing great and do not appear as tired, but MAN I am behind a good portion of the people. I can actually get lapped in kicking with a board. I am so bad at it. My last practice I just told myself this is for me and swam for myself. I am figuring that no one is looking over at me and saying anything. It is all in my mind not theirs.

I guess I wonder how long until you see great improvement?I know that my cardio is getting better but still needs a ton of work. At my age will it take a full season to really improve? I am swimming 4 mornings a week.

It is interesting to note that even in our 40's we still compare ourselves to others. All in all this back to swimming is wonderful but tougher than I thought it would be LOL LOL

Katie

ensignada
September 22nd, 2007, 11:59 AM
Katie - I'm 43 and never swam seriously in my youngers days. I started in earnest last November. I'm slower than molasses, but I love it (and am slowly improving).

I started swimming with a master's team a couple of weeks ago. Turnout has been low, and it's been me and 5 or 6 pretty accomplished swimmers. I get through 2/3s of the workout while they finish it. I repeat to myself the same things you are saying to yourself: I am where I am, I like doing this, I need to keep at it, I'm proud of myself for sticking in there.

It is hard not to compare (and get discouraged), but I'm trying hard not to.

dorothyrde
September 22nd, 2007, 01:37 PM
When I started swimming Master's at age 39, I had no swimming experience, and was still learning. I was the slowest by a lot. I improved a lot the first two years and I think you will find that you will too. Just keep plugging away, and try not to play those mind games. The others are not thinking badly of you, they probably enjoy having new folks come in.

cathlaur
September 22nd, 2007, 02:09 PM
Thanks for the replys

I am so glad I am not alone in this. It is hard but you are right. You have to know yourself that you are improving and not compare yourself to others. As one lady said to me who I swim with. I maynot be as fast as the other group but compared to other people my age ( she is in her mid to late 50's) I am in awesome awesome shape. SO I will plug along and do what is right for me.

Katie

cathlaur
September 22nd, 2007, 02:12 PM
Drats I hit reply before I meant to

Dorthy thanks for the input. I know that I will improve in time and it is great to hear from other people on how well they did. What about your fitness level, toning perhaps weightloss. Have you been successful with that?

ensignada CONGRATS on joining the Masters team. We started at about the same time. Though I know you were swimming prior to this. Do you like the Masters group? and do you find you work harder?
Good luck

Katie

Donna
September 23rd, 2007, 07:55 PM
Katie,

Give yourself time and only compare yourself to yourself and where you are now. Forget the past. I only compare my times to what I have done since starting masters swimming over 3 years ago. You have a different body, life experiences and dare I say you'll have your share of aches and pains along the way. Just enjoy the sport.

Someone once told me "I swam as good as I could today and thats what matters". That goes for practices as well as meets.

ENJOY

FindingMyInnerFish
September 23rd, 2007, 09:27 PM
I am, to put it gently, "velocity challenged" lol, and at one point, I was stressing over that so much I no longer enjoyed my masters' practices. During the past summer, although I didn't get much faster, I did a lot of very loooong workouts on my own preparing for a 5-mile open water swim. Doing these workouts with no one supervising them, I began to feel more confident of my ability, even if not my speed. I realized that no matter what my speed, this is something I love to do, and don't have to worry if others are faster. One swim coach I worked with always headed his workout sheets, "Do the best that you can do. Don't worry about what others are doing." He would pay as much attention to the slower swimmers as the faster ones, be just as enthusiastic in giving us feedback and coaching, push us just as much. I think I made my best improvements when he was coaching me, but lately his plate is too full with other commitments to coach masters.

Even so, I try to remember to use what he gave to me as a swimmer, to remember his confidence in me and have some in myself.

dorothyrde
September 24th, 2007, 06:02 AM
Drats I hit reply before I meant to

Dorthy thanks for the input. I know that I will improve in time and it is great to hear from other people on how well they did. What about your fitness level, toning perhaps weightloss. Have you been successful with that?


Katie

Yes, I was not out of shape when I started, having been a life long exerciser, but I was fit-fat. I am down 40 pounds from where I started, my resting heart rate is 45-50, blood pressure is always around 110/60, cholestral is very low, I look smaller than I weigh because of my muscle mass, so I think swimming is awesome. Also, when I go to the same Master's group now to swim.....I swim in the fast lane!

cathlaur
September 24th, 2007, 08:05 AM
Thanks for your input everyone. It is wonderful to know that I am not the only one who has done this but that I just need to stop it. I am doing this for me and no one else. I am also enjoying it. It is hard to explain but I am proud of myself.

Unfortunatley I got the family cold this weekend. I have a bad head cold. I started cold fx and am feeling a bit better but there was no way I could swim this morning. I felt really guilty and upset by it as I am just getting into the swimming. Oh well. I am hoping to get their tomorrow.

Dorothy OMG I am a fitfat tooooooooooooo, as I workout so much. I put 25 pounds on with my thyroid cancer and still worked out. I am in better shape than I was and there are some muscles under the flab I just need to see them and get some weight off. WOW 40 pounds:cheerleader: that is wonderful congrats to you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am hoping that the weight naturally comes off for me to. I can feel inches in back coming off. Can I ask how long it took to notice a difference then how long it took to lose the 40 pounds. Did you diet at the same time LOL Okay I am nosey.

Katie

Slowswim
September 24th, 2007, 11:36 AM
I pretty much never swam until two years ago. Joined a USMS Team and had a coach. I had to move a year ago and lost both. I am coached via e-mail and still am making improvement.

I swim alone almost every time, but this Forum helps me stay motivated. I try not to compare myself to these swimming demi-gods here, but the tips and advice are great!

Mostly, I'm trying to get/stay in shape, but hope to race in a meet someday if I can get a respectable time. I would love to swim Back, but without a coach I don't want to learn too many bad habits that I'd have to unlearn.

knelson
September 24th, 2007, 12:47 PM
I think it's inevitable to compare yourself to others. If we didn't there'd be no point in competing. Try to use this as positive motivation rather than negative. If you keep slugging it out you'll get faster and before you know it you'll be racing the folks who are now leaving you in the dust.

ensignada
September 24th, 2007, 01:35 PM
[quote=cathlaur;107052
ensignada CONGRATS on joining the Masters team. We started at about the same time. Though I know you were swimming prior to this. Do you like the Masters group? and do you find you work harder?
Good luck

Katie[/quote]

Do I like it? I'm not certain. I don't feel part of it (not that I feel excluded either) because there is such as disparity in levels. I'm sticking with it, although at this point, I have to say I enjoy working out on my own more.

I have to share with you something that a friend of mine said when I was deliberating whether or not to swim in a meet: "Barb, someone has to come in last in your age group. It might as well be you." It was the perfect thing for me to hear. And she was right: we swim for ourselves.

RecreationalSwimmer
September 24th, 2007, 02:31 PM
It was the perfect thing for me to hear. And she was right: we swim for ourselves.
Or maybe :cheerleader:For The Art Of Swimming:cheerleader:!

cathlaur
September 24th, 2007, 02:33 PM
Barb

That is so true. Your friend is very wise. I am still kind of on my own with the masters as well. I have a couple ladies who really chat but the others keep to themselves more than I thought they would. I often wonder if I am to hard on them. It is 5:30 am and perhaps they are shy. Who knows. I am there for me and just keep plodding along. I do like that the practice schedule is done for me. It is a no brainer. I hope you continue to enjoy your swimming.

knelson. YOU are right I guess you have to compare to compete. I guess I need to get into better shape before that happens.

slowswim. I have no doubt that you will be posting that you were in a race. It sounds like you have done a great job over the two years. I swam a lot as a child and teen so that will help me. Right now it is more the cardio and conditioning. I really need to shed a few pounds. I so hope this helps. WOW on getting your practices through email. You must be very dedicated I would find that tough. I am glad it works for you though.

Katie

marksman
September 24th, 2007, 02:47 PM
Consider yourself fortunate to have a number of people that you can use as competition. They'll return the favor and you'll all get faster.

It can be taken to an extreme though, don't do it if you lose form, cheat on turns, etc.

swimshark
September 24th, 2007, 02:58 PM
I think it's inevitable to compare yourself to others. If we didn't there'd be no point in competing. Try to use this as positive motivation rather than negative. If you keep slugging it out you'll get faster and before you know it you'll be racing the folks who are now leaving you in the dust.

I'm with Kirk. Use the faster swimmers to "race" a bit in practice. Or simply use them to count your laps (if they are 50 ahead, you know you only have 50 to go) :laugh2:

I still compare myself to others in practice. It keeps me moving. Don't get discuoraged. You will get faster and maybe one day you'll be beating them!

Alison

dorothyrde
September 24th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Can I ask how long it took to notice a difference then how long it took to lose the 40 pounds. Did you diet at the same time LOL Okay I am nosey.

Katie

I used Weight Watchers around 2000 and to
off 40 in 6 months. I was able to maintain that for about 2 years, and then slowly and because I went back to work full time(what you mean I can't work out anytime I want!), I put about 20 back on. This summer I got serious with the diet again, concentrating on eating low-glycemic, very much like a diabetic would, whole grains, lean meats, fruits, veggies, and watching the portion sizes, and in 10 weeks, I have lost 18 pounds. For me, diet is everything for losing weight. If I get lax on my portion size, or start thinking I can have junk, I will gain. I feel really good on this type of diet, never hungry because I eat 5-6 times a day, so hopefully I can stick to it.

Midas
September 24th, 2007, 05:27 PM
Consider yourself fortunate to have a number of people that you can use as competition. They'll return the favor and you'll all get faster.

It can be taken to an extreme though, don't do it if you lose form, cheat on turns, etc.

This is the benefit and drawback of swimming by yourself, which I have done since I started back in the pool this summer. It was great for a while, because I didn't want to compare myself to others. I didn't want that pressure that it's hard not to put on yourself.

But you reach a point where having other people in the lane with you will push you harder than you can push yourself. I swam a set of 10x100 with a very good swimmer over the weekend and held a pace per 100 about 5 seconds faster than I was anticipating swimming alone. To get to the "next level" I'm planning on joining a team.

Don't forget the old adage that "there's always someone faster" (new corollary--unless you're Michael Phelps) so even the fast swimmers (not that I am one) have to keep from getting discouraged by the competition.

Yeah, I know: :violin:

Blackbeard's Peg
September 24th, 2007, 10:56 PM
Comparing yourself to someone is not always a bad thing. If you can find someone who is/was a peer in a situation, it could benefit you both. Someone to provide motivation and advice.

In this case, Katie, you've got a couple folks who have been in your situation before. Now you don't know these folks per se, but at least they've all been through it and you have something against which you may benchmark your situation. You have an edge since you somewhat know what to expect.

cathlaur
September 25th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Thanks everyone for the words of wisdom.

I am really really enjoying my swimming. More than I thought I would. The early mornings are getting easier to which is nice. My one ear bothers me so I have ordered some good earplugs for it.

I have found a couple of woman who swim about where I do, so we are sharing a lane. They actually maybe a little better so that is nice to. ( I am a little more out of shape and they have been swimming for longer than I have, I must remember I only started Sept 7th) This morning when we were given part of our workout the coach gave us a drill of swimming 400 metres at 75% H/R. He said lanes 1 to 5 do the 400 and lane 6 do 200. I immediatley thought I would be in the lane 6 group but nope. So I guess I am doing better than I thought. There were a couple of new people and I made sure I said hi as I know how intimidated I was in the beginning. The one lady looked terrified.

I think as I get my cardio and endurance up I will feel better. I do the entire workout but I seem to be breathing much harder than some. I am also about 2 lengths of the pool behind a large group. So my goal is to start making that smaller..

All in all life is good and I am enjoying it.

Katie:groovy: