Giving yourself a break.
Today, I had my first ever swim meet. I was nervous and it was crazy. And to add to the ever increasing pressure one of my swim coaches told me not to breath between the flag and the wall. 5 yards. No breathing. Now don't get me wrong I have swam the whole length of the pool without breathing. I had trouble but I got it done. Now, she is asking me to do a flip turn, under water, without breathing, all the while exerting large amounts of energy. I will tell you now: it is NOT easy to swim not only correctly, but also without flaw, and then you have to go fast?!
Yea, not exactly a piece of cake.
Anyhow, I didn't believe that I could do it. Not yet anyway, and I was right. Before I ever dove into that pool, though, I was near tears. Okay, not near tears, I was flat out crying. Not the snot and ugly-faced crying just a few hot tears at random intervals. Anyhow, I was focusing on being as good as I could without drowning. (Note: I have only been swimming a month to everyone else's 16 to three months swimming. Sure, in retrospect three months isn't even much away from one months. But is actually a long time in swim seconds). I was focused on swimming my hardest. I was focused on not getting penalized for any faulty and accidental swimming. I was not focused on relaxing. I was not focused on having fun. I couldn't relax until I had enough time to get used to the competition. And do you know what? I came in last. Maybe it was dead last maybe it was really close to the girl next to me I have no idea.