Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Watching Your Own Lane

I am enrolled in an endurance swim class, which I love.  The class has really helped me stretch myself, emotionally and physically. I am exhausted by the end, but I love it.

This week, as I was swimming a drill, I looked over to the lane next to me and realized the woman swimming there was doing the wrong thing.  She was completely missing the point of the exercise, and was not exercising the correct muscles.  I was startled because I often look to her to make sure I am doing the right thing.  For a moment I almost stopped her to make sure she knew about the problem.

And then it occurred to me, I had no idea why she was swimming differently than I was, but I was willing to completely stop my progress to point out what I perceived as her fault. Oh my!  What a sad reason to sabotage  my own efforts.

I realized that if I had been keeping my eyes on my own lane and focusing on my own progress I never would have noticed her at all, let alone have spent enough time to evaluate her movements.  By taking the time to evaluate her, I was losing focus on my own movements and my own progress.

What a shame!

So, how often in life do we focus too much on what is going on around us, spend our energies on things of no importance, and divert our attention to trivial and useless issues?  It did not really matter why her stroke was different than mine, it changed nothing about my workout, or for that matter hers.  I was so worried about her choices that I stopped caring about mine.

The good news is that once again I have learned a lot from swimming.  I expanded more than my stroke during that class.  In the future, I hope I can keep my eyes on my own lane, on my own progress, and my own capabilities.  I bet I will excel a lot faster if I can!


  1. Great post! I couldn't agree more. For the most part I watch my own "lane".... thanks for the reminder.
    ~ Mona :)

  2. Great perspective! Especially with me being sick, it is important to stay in my own lane. I don't have the time or energy to worry about what anyone else around me is doing. I need to make sure I'm doing the best thing for me. Thanks for the reminder.

    Your swimming class sounds fantastic!

  3. @ Mona - I am glad this is an area of strength for you...I hope it will be for me soon!

    @ Karen - I wish I could get back all the energy I have spent over the years paying attention to other people's behavior and actions. I would be the most energetic woman in the world!