At 300 meters I was out of breath – that’s when I would have turned to swim back to the shore. This time I kept going. This morning was a record breaker for me in my open sea swimming. My morning swims are more like dips, in winter the water is freezing so that limits me from a time in water point of view. In summer it gets up to 16-18 degrees Celsius (60-64F) so it is possible to stay in longer, that’s when my swimming technique becomes my limiter.

Today I did 1.1k in Galway Bay – here’s what happened. For the past year I have had the goal of swimming 1k without a wetsuit but I have been a long way off achieving that. Earlier this week I got up to 528m which was great for me. Yesterday something very simple happened that changed everything.

Yesterday I met a friend, Cormac, when I was in for one of my 50m dips. I asked him how far he had gone and he said “Out to the 1k mark”. 1k I thought, thats impressive but as I was swimming I realised he probably meant 2k, as obviously he had to come back! As my swim was very brief he was still there when I got out of the water so I checked with him. He had indeed just done 2k. Now that to me is very impressive coming from where Im thinking…. or sinking. As I was talking to Cormack another friend came out of the water, Ciaran. I asked Ciaran what his distance was and he said 2.2k. These conversations changed something in me. Not my swimming technique but my mindset. So this morning I set out with a different attitude. I sat down before the swim and visualised myself going around the 500m marker. I visualised looking at my GPS and seeing the 1k+. I visualised myself being calm and comfortable on that swim. And then it happened. As I passed the 250k marker I was out of breath. When that happens I think it’s safer to turn around but not today. Today I steadied myself, made a point of relaxing. I slowed down, got my breath under control and I just kept going.

So why am I telling you this?

If I hadn’t met up with Cormac and Ciaran yesterday I would still be stuck at 528m. My swimming technique didn’t improve from one day to the next but my mindset shifted substantially. It was purely that shift in mindset that got me the extra 472m. Spending time with people who are achieving better results than you in any domain of your life will impact your success in that area. Hang out with high achievers!

(Thanks Cormac and Ciaran)

PS: As you’ll see from the image my GPS track is a bit off for some reason. There is a 500m marker that I went around so I am sure of my achievement.

[UPDATE] One week later and the 1k swim has now become my every day distance (see below alongside a more accurate GPS track on Galway Bay). It has become part of my routine and now I’m looking at the 2k marker with intent!