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Understanding Your Own Rhythm

#2023planning #intentionaloptimism #reflection #rhythms #womenempoweringwomen #womeninleadership #womensupportingwomen Nov 21, 2022

 

How far can you swim? 

Most people can tell you if they are a sprinter or a distance runner, and I think there’s a direct corollary between running and swimming. You see, it’s the body type.

When you’re short, like me, you tend to be more of a sprinter - which is, by the way - true of me in almost every respect. However, growing up at The Beach, in a community where we were all encouraged to participate in every activity, I was determined to swim to The Reef every summer. 

The Reef was a half mile swim timed to allow swimmers to arrive at the reef at the lowest tide of the day - which is the only time the reef is above water. We did this twice each summer, and in my later years, I swam one time and manned a safety boat (sail or row) for the other.  Either way, I was earning my “Wings” every summer.

Technically, the Reef Swim was a race, but I never thought I’d actually win. I was just happy to not be last. Every time. Half a mile doesn’t sound far, but when your body isn’t built for swimming any kind of distance, it feels like a marathon.  Eventually I learned the best way to get there was to use my body type to my advantage.  

You see, I float.

I learned that I could swim a little, float a little.  The tide was going out, and floating wasn’t as inefficient as it sounds. Swim, float. Swim, float. Eventually I’d get there.  

Arriving at the crazy pop up of rocks, coral and barnacles, climbing on top with wet sneakers squishing and squeaking was a highlight every summer.  We whooped and hollered, making a general spectacle of ourselves, as fishing boats chuck-chuck-chuck-chucked by trying to figure out what we were so excited about.

I was excited to make it.

To be there with 40 other people, all having fought the current, jellyfish, and our own inefficient strokes, constantly threatening to take us off course.

Yes, the same few teenage boys got there first every year, but we didn’t care. We’d made - again!

I did have a competitive streak, but a half mile was too great a distance for my body type, and pushing too hard only resulted in cramps and fatigue.  It’s no different with running. I’m completely smitten with the idea of being an Ultra Runner, all while knowing it’s a pipe dream for this little sprinter body.  I’m short and stocky, muscles built for bursts of speed, rather than sustained and steady energy release.  

Sprinting - in running or swimming - is where my strength lies.  

Understanding what my body will and won’t do well, gives me the confidence to participate in activities that I’ll enjoy, and am less likely to get injured… I find it interesting that I’ve finally realized that it’s not just my body that’s built to function this way - it seems this is just how my energy output is wired.  

Sprint, recover. Sprint, recover.  

I used to think this pattern was laziness, lack of perseverance, or inability to focus. Now I see it’s just how I’m wired. It’s how I think, write, communicate, teach, coach… everything. Knowing and understanding my own rhythm enables me to focus for shorter periods of time, take a break and re engage. 

I’m giving myself permission to cycle through “sprint, recover” over and over in order to build my business.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, they tell me, so I figure I get my “Wings” when I graduate to each new level of mastery, awareness, leadership… squishy, squeaky sneakers and all. 

Sprint, recover. Sprint, recover.

What's YOUR natural rhythm? 

Honoring not just what you do best, but HOW you do it, makes all the difference in the world. 

This week, I invite you to reflect on how things have worked for you in the past.

What does your natural rhythm look like?

How can you honor that as you move toward your goals? 

Can I help you figure it out? DM me - LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook - I'd love to help you see how you can honor how you do, what you do... and thrive!

 

 

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