During my final two intervals on the track, I noticed my mental chatter. I was telling myself to “fight for it” as my legs felt like rubber and two times around the track seemed farther and farther. And does this track have an uphill grade? Cuz this is getting hard. “Fight for it,” I told myself. I did and soon enough my 800 meter repeats were complete, I was tired but triumphant and well within my target time zone.
But I started think about this notion of “fighting for it.” What exactly did I mean by that? Over the last few years I’ve consciously worked to change my mindset from thinking life is hard replacing it instead with the positive belief that I am always supported in the things I want to do. Life can become easier if I focus on all the reasons why something will work instead of making a list of reasons to stay away, setting myself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy that life is a battle and that I usually end up on the losing side. The mental shift does not mean challenges and difficulties and road blocks disappear. But instead of making life a struggle and injecting drama or negativity into the situation, I choose to find creativity and opportunity.
In my experience, the more I frame what I want as a struggle, the more life conspires to give me even more obstacles. If what I focus on grows, why focus on the battle? In open water swimming, I’ve learned that even when the waves are coming at me, the key is to work with the water. Start fighting the water and I exhaust myself and go nowhere fast. Play with the waves and the obstacle actually helps move me forward. Go figure.
So why did the phrase “fight for it” whisper at me during my intervals today? I wasn’t struggling against the track or the weather or the pace or my body. In fact, I wasn’t really “fighting” at all. The phrase, I realized meant something different to me. It was a reminder to dig deep into my abilities. It was a reminder not to give up on myself. It was a reminder that I am capable of more than I think.
To “fight for it” means to settle into my deepest level of confidence. Once upon a time, that used to be a struggle. Now, it’s just another level of power I can access at any time. What else can I fight for today?