Unlocking Peak Performance: Lessons Learned from a 10-Hour Swim
Mission completed! Peak Performance Training with a new individual record.
Embarking on a challenging journey can test our physical and mental limits, pushing us beyond what we thought possible and allowing us to discover our true capabilities. This was the first time in my life that I swam non-stop for 10 hours, covering 28km in the beautiful Zurich Lake, setting a new personal record.
For several months, I have been training rigorously for the English Channel. Though it has been challenging, it has proven to be a powerful test that has not only revealed the immense endurance capacity of my body but also provided valuable insights into other aspects of my physical and mental well-being. This extraordinary experience has taught me invaluable lessons about pain, boredom, positivity, recovery, and the power of teamwork. These lessons hold significance not only in competitive sports but also in various aspects of work and daily life.
Here are some key learnings from my 10-hour swim:
1. Pursue your dreams: You need to have a dream- a clear objective that ignites your passion. If your dream fails to motivate you, it will be difficult to persevere through obstacles. Therefore, don't hesitate to dream big and work tirelessly towards your goals. With conviction, commitment, and sacrifices, you can make magic happen.
2. Embrace discomfort: Pursuing your dreams requires stepping out of your comfort
zone, which can be uncomfortable. However, it is possible to learn to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. The process begins by training your mind and body, starting with your mindset. When achieving goals, mindset accounts for more than 60% of success. Once the mind is prepared, the body can adapt.
3. Accept and overcome pain: During the 10-hour swim, I discovered that the sensation of pain has its limits. It doesn't escalate indefinitely; instead, it reaches a more manageable threshold. As I persevered through physical strain, I gradually realized that my body adapted, enabling me to cope better with the discomfort. Recognizing this fosters resilience by understanding that determination can overcome pain.
4. Conquer boredom: One might assume swimming for hours would lead to overwhelming boredom. Surprisingly, I discovered that even boredom has its limits. Our brains naturally seek stimulation, and as the hours passed, I found my mind creating its own entertainment, thus mitigating the monotony.
5. Manage negative thoughts: When faced with challenges, negative thoughts will likely arise. However, I learned that it's possible to trick our minds and redirect our focus toward positivity. By taking small actions and consciously changing my mindset, I transformed negative thoughts into positive ones. This mental alchemy helped me stay motivated during the swim and reinforced a valuable lesson applicable to life's challenges: we have the power to shape our perception and attitude, leading to greater resilience and success.
6. Swift recovery: Surprisingly, my muscles recovered relatively quickly. In just 24 hours, the pain was relieved, even allowing me to swim the next day. This rapid recovery was made possible by adequate sleep and targeted nutrition.
7. Break down goals: Initially, I couldn't even imagine being 10 hours in the water. However, breaking the goal into smaller milestones made it more achievable. Instead of focusing on the entire swim duration, I focused on the next feeding, deriving excitement and motivation from each passing hour. This approach enabled me to remain present at the moment and maintain a positive mindset throughout the swim. You can even see my feeding plan and the goodies involved 😉
8. The Power of Teamwork: No great accomplishment is achieved in isolation. This is definitely teamwork and mental readiness motivation is key. I want to thank Jurg, the all arounder captain of the day! For his invaluable support in managing my feeding, guiding me through the minutes, ensuring my safety amidst lake traffic, and monitoring my mental and physical well-being from start to finish. I'm also grateful to Ilona for the additional nutrition support from Fitline and the motivating pre-swim dinner. And thank you, Adalvo, for the collaboration and shared motto: #alwaysontarget.
Now that I have achieved my peak performance, it is now time to focus on recovery and prepare my mind for the upcoming big day. Thus far, this journey has been enriching regarding personal growth and learning. It has demonstrated that pain, boredom, and negativity all have their limits, and with the right mindset and a supportive environment that keeps you motivated, you can overcome them.