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Archive for May, 2011

A Fish Out of Water

I have been swimming for 48 years. When competing in triathlons, I swim distances ranging from a little under a mile to almost two and half miles.

I swim every week.

And I continually get faster.

So of course the next logical step in my training was to take a two-day swimming clinic in December and completely revamp the way I swim.

The first day of the clinic the instructor filmed our swim to use as a “before” picture. As we each got into the water, she told us to say “goodbye” to our stroke as that would be the last time we would ever use that approach to swimming.

The weekend was physically and mentally exhausting as I had to begin to create new muscle memory and deal with the flood of new information.

My hour-long 2,000+ yards workouts have been replaced with workouts of 30 minutes or less where I measure my distance by lengths of the pool and not yards.

Where I used to cruise through the water, I now struggle.

Why did I do it?

Why did I decide to become a “fish out of water?”

So I could grow–and if you are willing to take some risks you too can grow this year–in ways you never imagined!

Becoming a “Fish out of Water.”

Do you have a “stroke” you need to change this year?

Is there an area of your life that is controlled by the behaviors of the past that has become routine and stale?

Growth is all about moving out of your comfort zone. It’s not so much about “thinking outside of the box” as it is about “blowing up the box.”

Stress, Recovery, and Adaptation

An athlete must go through three steps to build endurance.

First, they must stress their muscles and cardiovascular system through increased and prolonged activity. After the stress, the body must have time to recover. As recovery takes place, the body then adapts to the new demands placed upon it. Muscle mass and aerobic capacity increase and the process begins all over again with a new cycle of stress, recovery and adaptation.

Just as there is no positive change in the body without resistance, the same can be said about other areas of our lives. And we all have parts of our lives that need to be challenged and changed.

The Plan

So how does one go about making these really significant changes?

Start with your fears.

Since we go as far as our fears let us, identifying your fears is the key.

What are you afraid of?



Not being good enough?

What other people think of you?

Look deeply and be honest.

Now write down the area you want to change and tell at least one other person what you plan to do. Make it as measurable as possible. Next create a deadline. And then do something toward your goal–today. It’s not so important what you do; it’s only important that you do.

Maybe you’re trying to do something that you’ve attempted in the past and failed at before. Perhaps you have a behavior or habit that is so old you doubt you can change it. There is a Turkish proverb that is helpful to remember:

“No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn back.”

If you are willing to stay focused, and if you have the courage to face your fears, this year could be a year of amazing growth.

This year vow to become a “fish out of water!”

When you come up with your goal and your plan, let me know. I’d love to follow your progress!

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CTS Consulting, Inc

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Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

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