Last night I went swimming at the UCSF rooftop pool, which is as two faced as Regina George. I ‘walk shivered’ onto the pool deck, as not-so-distant memories of ‘swim tanning’ under the clear blue sky seemed like a past never to be relived again. The wind asserted its’ authority and whipped helpless lane line flags around…and I considered ditching. I heard my childhood swim coach’s voice tell me to ‘shut up and swim’. I walk over to the lane and stare down at the water, almost at the point of no return. In my head I hear AJ saying, “C’mon dood it’s not that bad.” 
Ugh, fine. You’re right. I’ll do it. 
After the feeling of cold left my body (it was no where NEAR as cold as the Bay…I was really just being a baby) I was able to settle into a rhythm and become aware of the good things the cold air provided: a lane. all. to. my.self. 
For the first time in a long time, I did sprints. I timed myself. I did breaststroke drills, which meant I was going really really really slow. I concentrated on technique, speed, power, breathing. I was fast, slow, smooth, and ugly. 
I was free to be in my own head, and not worry about kicking someone or sideswiping an unsuspecting pool patron. It was totally worth it, and the ‘pain’ was actually only a few seconds. I don’t know why I try to fight it, I don’t know why I dread it, but I do. Regardless, pushing through is SO worth it. Every time. 
So, thanks to Ed Nessel for telling me to ‘shut up and swim’, to AJ for inspiring me to be better every single day, to this guy for making me want to live 24/7 in beast mode, and to Kimmy Schmidt, for telling me to hang in there. 

What do you tell yourself when your mind is acting a fool? How do you get amped? Inspired? In the zone? Share your secrets, I promise I’ll tell everyone.