“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on;”
I must admit this is one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes uttered by Iago to Othello and it popped in to my mind in recent days.
So let me start by saying, I want all my fellow swimmers to succeed, every time they post about an upcoming swim, I want them to conquer it. I like to think myself and swimmer Sam McNair have also contributed to this effort to support through the swim Group #swimstory that we started on line to offer support and advice when asked etc. for by swimmers.
Like with most sports, us swimmers do like to tell ourselves we are the most supportive and best and toughest group but with a brother who is a marathon runner and friends who do the same, I see the support etc. they give each other and it’s similar. However I will say we are a smaller group and we often have more direct contact from the elites of the sport to the base. So yes we are just the best.
Anyway, I have digressed, during my big swim this year, I received awesome support, my swim posts get more likes and comments than anything else I do in life and I try to do the same when others post about their swims. But I have an ugly truth (which I believe we all have), I do think to myself why am I not doing their swim. Is it jealousy? Is it desire to do more?
I have debated a bit on this in the past few days, particularly driven by watching swim friends prepare for their trip to Tennessee to swim the suck this weekend. This is a swim I have done three times, it’s a fun enjoyable swim and I encourage everyone to do it but yes I am jealous I am not there.
I think my desire to just be there supporting and wanting everyone to succeed offsets any chance of this being begrudgery, which I was brought up thinking of as a national past time in Ireland
(I don’t like to quote bono but it’s not one of Ireland’s prettier attributes.)
So I think the jealousy that I feel (again hoping others feel this) is in fact just a function of driving ourselves on. We see the swims others achieve, the physical challenges they put their bodies through and we wonder can we do the same, can we go further, can we break ourselves. I stated this to someone after End Wet when they asked was that far enough, the answer was I don’t know, I didn’t break. But what that means is for another day and further thought.
So does all this mean I am jealous, a begrudger, a miserable human or is it more that I want to be there with them? Is it that I want to test myself in the way that they have? But the other reality is we all have limits, vacation days, money, wanting to spend quality time with family and friends and not being obsessed with when is my next swim and a training plan. We can only do so much in a season.
So in conclusion, the fact is I am going to have this challenge for as long as I choose to swim and take part in a sport with people who are constantly trying to achieve the next thing but maybe this is the bit that drives me on…look at what they did, can I do that… and maybe it’s not jealousy as such, just a plain old desire to be tested by the next thing
Good luck this weekend Swim the Suckers
The somewhat adequate swimmer.