Walls: an essential component to swimming, an unavoidable reality of life. I'm not going to get too existential with you on this topic, but it seems fitting right now to talk about dealing with the walls of life and swimming. Lately it seems like nearly every time I turn around, I bump into another barrier. The reality, of course, may not be quite so dramatic - but the feeling exists nonetheless. Naturally, it feels like there's always a sort of domino effect when things go wrong. One after another, issues arise and it begins to build what can feel like massive walls getting in the way of progress. In swimming, you are constantly bouncing between walls. The way you utilize the wall can give you an edge over a competitor or even propel you to victory. Each wall has to be attacked precisely and with strength. This can only be achieved through massive hours of practice. Practicing perfect feet placement, a strong push off, a tight streamline, a powerful breakout. I can't help but think that the same is true out of the water too. Each wall makes me stronger and helps me with the next - as long as I use it to my advantage. Sometimes people talk about 'breaking down' walls. Rather, I think walls are placed in our lives for a reason and it's up to us to use them as a place to quickly plant our feet and push off to speed us along the lane of life. Leave it there as a reminder of how to deal with the next one, but know that you have pushed away from it a stronger person. Hanging onto a wall won't get us anywhere.
. . . and hanging onto the lane line will only get you yelled at.