One Day at a Time

Tommy Cunningham

One Day at a Time


On Tuesday, I’m writing a speech to tell the group talking about how each individual has improved and how great we’re going to do at the meet. I planned to talk about how great things start from having a relentless belief in ourselves and in what we can accomplish together. How we write down goals at the beginning of the season because we believe we can do them and not just because it’s a desire of ours. I was going to talk about how we need to keep this strong mental framework through success and through setbacks because this is what will give us the best chance to improve. Then suddenly, the meet is cancelled. It’s taken time to fully accept that we’re not going to have the meet. That we’re not going to have the moments that we’ve been working towards. It’s an empty feeling of being robbed for what we’ve put so much time and effort into. 


A book that I come back to is during this is The Obstacle is The Way. “Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.” A lot is going on. A lot of unknowns as this is something that everyone is trying to figure out what the right thing to do is because this is truly a black swan event. What this is forcing us to do is to take a step back from our normal routine and to look at something much bigger than ourselves. 


We realize how fortunate we are to live the life we live. We can sometimes take our daily and weekly routines for granted as we think about our own personal struggles but this is something that really puts things into perspective for us. With everything happening, I go back to what I was going to tell the group before the meet. We have to keep the belief that the best is yet to come. That a strong mental framework will keep us focused on our pursuit during setbacks. Just because it’s not this time, it doesn't mean it won't be next time. That we’re stronger together than we are apart. To focus on giving support versus solely focusing on ourselves. As I’ve been saying all season that us as a whole is better than the sum of its parts. This is an event we’ll get through together. To have the perception that every obstacle is an opportunity for us to improve and grow from.


What are some things we can be doing?


Stuck at home more

This is an opportunity to spend more time with your family. Show appreciation for your loved ones. Eat meals together. Reach out to someone that you’ve meaning to talk to but you haven't had the time to.


No meets: 

This is an opportunity to reflect on your training. Did you improve the things you wanted to improve? Have you been taking advantage of your opportunities or have you been taking your opportunities for granted? There will be another meet eventually. Take advantage of your opportunities to get more prepared for the next one. Not just for one motivated day but write down how you want to train and the standard you want to hold yourself to and stick to it everyday! Motivation can be fickle. Your training and your focus doesn't have to be.


Can’t make it to practice:

This is an opportunity to work on getting stronger. A lot of times we can’t do the correct movement pattern because we’re not strong enough, mobile enough, or have the posture or balance to do so. This is something you can work on at home. Can you do a proper squat? Can you hold a proper plank longer than ten seconds? Can you do proper hip hinge and touch your toes? Can you do a proper high elbow without impinging your shoulder. Can you do a proper dorsiflex and proper plantarflex with your ankle?

There’s also so much content on swimming online. You can watch race videos where you notice techniques, stroke counts, how far athletes are getting off the wall, etc. Great opportunity to up your swimming knowledge. 


Let’s control what we can control to the best of our ability. Be grateful for each day and continue in our relentless pursuit of improving everyday.


From The Obstacle is The Way:


“See things for what they are.

Do what we can.

Endure and bear what we must.


What blocked the path is now the path.

What once impeded action advances action.

The Obstacle is the Way.”



Tommy Cunningham