Banging on a Rock

After having the best swim of my life (this can happen fairly frequently when you have only been really swimming for a year) this week, I was excitedly discussing with Coach Hillary the progress. In this convo she passed along another Biscwelsiek Gem: Swimming is like banging on a rock.

I love when I get these words of wisdom from Hillary, but if you’re like me you may need a bit of an explanation. So you bang on a rock with a hammer and nothing seems to be happening, but really you’re making little cracks. Finally, one day, those little cracks equal a big crack and a huge chunk falls right off.

Well, I’m happy to report that a big chunk has fallen right into the pool. And it was one well deserved chunk if I say so myself considering I’ve logged over 225 miles in the pool this year.

The conversation progressed the next day with Dave, who gave a further explanation: “Have you ever [cracked concrete] for a day?  You take the sledgehammer and you hit and it looks like nothing happened.  You do it again and you see a dent, maybe a chip.  Three or four more hits and you get discouraged.  Maybe the 9th or 10th hit and you start to see a crack.  Your enthusiasm is renewed.  By the 20th or 25th, you have the feel even though your hands have long since blistered and your back aches.  Eventually a big chunk breaks off and you can pick it up and toss it aside.  Once you have defeated a solid piece, the rest becomes merely an exercise in persistence.”

I promptly played the girl card as my reason for never having the (clearly exciting) opportunity to crack concrete. And I think, for now, I’ll keep my concrete slab as the pool because I see some more cracks to get after 🙂

Published by Alyssa Godesky

Alyssa is a professional triathlete who has logged over 8,000 miles in competition of swimming, biking and running across five continents. She came to triathlon from an ultrarunning background and over the last few years has found success back on the trails: in 2018 she set the female supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Vermont's 273 mile Long Trail in 5 days, 2 hours and 37 minutes. In 2020 she set the women's supported FKT for climbing the 46 High Peaks in the Adirondacks in 3 days, 16 hours and 16 minutes. She is a triathlon and running coach, and also enjoys spending time guiding hikers out on the trails. Alyssa is based in Charlottesville, VA with her dog Ramona.

0 comments on “Banging on a Rock”

  1. Nice. I’ve been taking some swim lessons myself and I kinda feel the same way. Every once-in-awhile I go “I got it!!” then there’s something else to work on…

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