Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Irrational Fears

The Easter Grammy sent a really cute Sesame Street DVD to Moana a couple weeks ago and we finally got around to watching it last night. It's called 'Kid's Favorite Songs' and Elmo stars in it so I figured it would be a big hit... and it was.. for the most part...

I set it up to play on my computer which is right next to the kitchen so I figured that way I would be able to prepare dinner while Moana was engrossed in Rubber Duckies and Mary's Little Lamb. I actually wasn't paying much attention to the video (because, um, I was chopping and sautéing vegetables!) but I did notice Moana trying to clap her hands indicating that she was happy and she knew it. But then every once in a while she would start wailing and run hysterically from the computer and fearfully hide behind my leg.

What could possibly be so scary about Sesame Street's Favorite Songs?

A-HA! Snuffleupagus! That big elephant chasing around his giant meatball was just a little too much for Moana to take. So we'll put the favorite songs away for a while until she's old enough to understand that no oversized hairy elephant will jump out of the computer screen to get her.

Funny, how people have irrational fears like that. And it's not just limited to toddlers, you know. Take Monday morning at the pool, for example. There's a guy who swims regularly (an MD nonetheless) who we chat with occasionally. He wears his headphones and gets in and swims a 3000 straight every time he comes to the pool. And he times himself. He's not a slow swimmer, but he's not nearly as fast as he could be if he were to start training with intervals. Apparently Nalani recruited him to join her in (parts of) her workout last Friday since I was gone on Molokai. She had a set of threshold 100's with varying intervals and efforts and he could hang for some of them. Anyway, clearly that one workout helped him because on Monday he commented about how he actually swam his 3000 a good bit faster than normal. So we started chatting about intervals and how they work and he said that he didn't want to do anything anaerobic in the pool because that would hurt his aerobic swimming. What? Really? He thought that? See, even adults have irrational fears. ;)

Last night I was reading an article about the attributes of successful athletes. The first point was that they have the emotional ability/maturity (call it what you will) to deal with bad workouts and move past them. The author/coach talked about how an athlete can have months of great workouts and then one off day where he wasn't able to hit tempo pace or whatever and then let that irrational fear that his season is lost dominate his thoughts. The point of the article is that we all have bad days. And successful athletes understand this and let it go and move on to tomorrow.

I'm glad I read that last night because I had a crappy day today in the pool. I got in and from the first 50 could just feel myself sinking. My stroke was not smooth and it all was just a major struggle. A bad workout in the pool is clearly warranted- I mean, I'm finally in a recovery week after 3 big weeks in a row that culminated in that double TT effort on Sunday. This body of mine needs a break (and is now finally getting it!) but you know how sometimes when you first start backing off you just feel totally sluggish and generally like crap? Yeah. I feel like that right now. But anyway, these irrational fears started creeping into my psyche... I was in a middle of a set of descending 200's and only on the fastest ones was I able to hit the pace that I hope to repeat for the whole timed 1000 Nalani and I are doing on Friday. (Yes! Timed 1000 on Friday! Woohoo!) Anyway, I was thinking about how I shouldn't even attempt that 1000 because there was no way I was going to be able to hit my goal... but then I talked myself down off the ledge and reminded myself that this sluggish feeling will pass and that my swimming speed is not gone forever. Phew. I will rest with a very easy day tomorrow and Friday my swimming will be back and I will be fine. Irrational Fears- be gone!


8 comments:

Running and living said...

The MD's comment made me laugh:)
When I taper I always feel sluggish and struggle with my runs. Today I ran 2 miles at MP and honestly I can't imagine running 26.2 at that pace. Yet I know I can, because I ran that pace for 20 mile several times before. Yet the negative thoughts creep in, and I just have to let them go fly by and not react to them. It's nice to know that others are having similar experiences during periods of decreased training!

Rebecca DeWire said...

I can understand where Moana is coming from! That big, hairy elephant is scary :) That is a cute story.

DC Running Mama said...

Funny, I was just reading in the "what to expect during the toddler years" book about toddler's fears. I can see how the Snuffalufagus (sp???) could be scary!! And, this was a great post re: athlete's fears in terms of one bad workout=a wasted season! I've really had to work on this because much of my esteem can be wrapped up in a good/bad practice. My coach won't tell me the splits he wants/thinks I can run in the race b/c he doesn't want me to worry that I'm not running fast enough and beat myself up.

Audrey said...

Awww. Snuffleupagus! was my favorite character. Seconded by Oscar, of course. I had no clue he was a woolly mammoth as a child but found it hilarious later when I became enamored by North American prehistory. :)

Angela said...

Ryan didn't like Big Bird at first...go figure.

So true about the self doubt and the sluggishness. In fact, my body protests the first day or two after a rest week like "what the heck are you starting this crap for again"

Regina said...

OK, got it.

My son used to be afraid of the Map on Dora; he would put his blankie over his head to hide when it came on...go figure.

N.D. said...

interesting about the successful athletes. So cute with Moana :) and Sesame Street. Nick loved the almond oats!!!

cherelli said...

Aw - and they even tried to make Snuffalufagus less scary by attaching those beautiful long eyelashes! Good post on irrational fears, I have some goodies in my basket (which I try to leave the lid on).