Printed with permission from:
Pool’s Edge Column- Swimming World Magazine-August 2007
By: Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen Aquatic Edge, Inc.
I love summer, especially the month of August. In August, the weather is toasty, the water is warm, and best of all, championships meets for both kids and Masters are usually over.
I think August is a great time to reflect, relax, recharge and most of all…have FUN!
Here are some suggestions to help you make the most out of the last month of summer.
Close the chapter: Before you go out and play, take time to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. You worked hard and did your best. After all, that is really all we can ask for.
Next, take a few minutes to reflect on your season by answering a few questions.
As with any sport, only some of us will be 100% satisfied. However, the beauty of Masters swimming is that you literally have a LIFETIME to get “it” right. Don’t worry if you did not meet your expectations. After all, there is always next year, and the year after, and the year after…
- Did you reach your goal(s)?
- How do you feel about your efforts?
- What worked?
- What would you do differently?
Take a break: When I was a kid, the end of summer meant no swim practice for two whole weeks. So, once a year I was free to be a “normal” kid (it did get old pretty quick, by the way). Do the same. Take some time off and experience a “normal” life; eat dinner at a reasonable hour, go to work smelling of cologne rather than chlorine, and best of all…sleep in.
Play like a kid: Stay active, but make FUN be your goal. Take a hike, ride a bike or spend the day at the pool, beach or lake playing in the water…no training allowed. Choose an activity that has absolutely no training value whatsoever. Your body needs time to recharge the batteries, so if a relaxing walk turns into a 6-mile run, you would be missing the point.
Yoga instead of weights: One of the best activities that ANY athlete can do is yoga. Yoga increases flexibility, gently stretches muscles and tendons, improves concentration and focus while relaxing and rejuvenating the mind, body and spirit. Take a beginner class and you will be hooked (I am!). With yoga, it is crucial to respect your body’s limitations and inner wisdom…never push or feel pain. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of opportunity to experience those feelings when swim practice resumes.
Go out for an ice cream: The season is over. Let your caloric guard down and allow yourself the pleasure of an ice-cold treat on a hot summer night. Honestly, you deserve it.
Do nothing at all: This may be the hardest suggestion to follow. We all lead busy lives, scheduling our time in and out of the water with great efficiency. For just one day, try doing the opposite. Do not plan a single activity and let the day evolve. Be flexible and open to the unlimited possibilities that await you.
I hope you have a great month, enjoy the time off and hopefully you will come back from your break refreshed, relaxed and ready to go.
BIO: So far this year Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen has set 13 FINA Masters World records for the 45-49 age group bringing her
career total to 160. Karlyn and her husband Eric live in Kona, Hawaii and own Aquatic Edge Inc. Last year they hosted
over 50 swim technique clinics and camps worldwide. For more information, visit www.aquaticedge.org