|pen and ink drawing by Dot.|
Stamina. To keep going. To do more. To do it better.
Yesterday in the pool I noticed that the point where I have to debate whether to stop or work through it didn't happen. Not that it wouldn't have happened - but it didn't happen in the time that I had to swim. When I first returned to regular swimming, it happened at five to seven minutes. Then it moved to ten minutes - pretty rapidly, too. Then fifteen and, most recently, twenty minutes.
Like with writing. Do I keep writing the short stories? Work on more revision of the memoir? Or do I believe the little voice which says it's crap and to stop and why bother? Where's the money? Why keep doing it?
In the pool : at that point my arms ache - usually the shoulders feel tired and week, usually my breathing is slightly more labored and shallow and I may or may not have a slight back or neck ache. But I learned in the past that I reach this point before (probably) the endorphins kick in where I feel like I have to stop; like it's too much and I can't go any further.
With writing: it feels pointless and like my stories are no good. I may tell myself that I don't have the time to write and revise and send them out and find new places to submit. I haven't found the pattern in writing, yet, like I have in swimming. I don't yet know what it is that kicks in when I feel like giving up.
But maybe I'm about to find out.
Like yesterday. I just kept swimming. No slow down. No kick board laps. No shallow or difficulty breathing, no shoulder discomfort, no sense of stopping.
Yesterday I only stopped swimming because I needed enough time to shower and get to an appointment.
Yesterday I gave feedback in both of the writing workshops. I haven't started my two assignments but I have completed the quick write and the free write.
Today I know that my stamina is increasing and that I'm doing what I need to do.
And I'm not stopping for doubts, be it swimming or writing. In swimming, I know when I really need to stop - my lungs tell me. In writing, well, I'm not stopping - if this particular story goes nowhere, the next one will.
One stroke at a time: of my arms to propel me forward, of the pen to make the next letter, of the keyboard to put it into print.