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Hey Nerd Fitness community! I've been receiving Steve's blog posts for half a year now, and they've been really inspirational to me as a medical student, a video gamer, and most importantly, as a person who wants to stay healthy and love life. Thanks to this six-week challenge, I want to get involved and level up!


I used to be a competitive swimmer until I quit over a decade ago. I coached a few summer leagues and gave private lessons to a lot of people who didn't know how to swim, but I quit after I started medical school. It's been almost three years now since I've hit the pool, and I want to get back into it. So... here it is:


My goal: to become a swimmer (again)


---> Swim twice a week

---> Swim more than 2000 meters in one practice

---> Swim a 200 IM in under 3 minutes.


Bonus: do the last two goals in less than a month.

Bonus x2: do 100 meter butterfly without stopping.




I'm joining a group that practices regularly this week, so wish me luck!


P.S. My life quest: Do better in school.

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Ugh... no success at all. I've actually been really overwhelmed with medical school lately. I haven't made the best of grades, and for a while, I thought I was going to fail. I also have been having some really bad anxiety issues with my classmates. They aren't exactly the nicest of people... and plus I've never been in such a competitive, hostile environment before in my life. For instance, I had one girl tell me the other day that she couldn't believe that this doctor chose me to be his mentee and that it wasn't fair. My anxiety has gotten so bad now to where I just stay at home and pray that I can focus enough to study.


So, I've failed my goal :( I know that school isn't a very good excuse for not working out, but it's just been overwhelming to me. I have just been trying my best to stay afloat.


However! I realized this week though that I needed to change. I've been opening up to some people about my anxiety issues, asking for help on how to deal with people who don't like me, trying to build up my self-image and self-esteem... so, I'm coming more and more to terms with it. It also dawned on me that I should refocus all of my panic attacks into working out or de-stressing. It didn't have to be swimming (though I wish I could, SO BADLY you have no idea --I just didn't want to leave my house because I was afraid). I had to start small. So, I moved my PS3 and TV, and I put it right in front of my treadmill. I told myself that if I ever want to play video games, I HAVE to walk and do it at the same time. That was yesterday, one mile.


Today was three miles.


I guess now, my goal is to survive. To stick up for myself, to be proud of who I am, to make myself happy.


Thank you so much, both of you, for replying back to my topic. It means the world to me.

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Aww, yeah, sometimes life is just a mean booty.


But, you can always revise your goals!  Like have a life quest about opening up to people more/getting to know people around you or a fitness goal about walking/do mini squats when you are studying, reading, etc.  As I have learned, this challenge is about making small changes that would lead to big difference in life.


Good luck with everything.  I keep my fingers crossed for you and keep you in positive thoughts! 

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Staci. This post goes out to you.


I completely hit bottom in every single aspect of my life last week. I just kept breaking down into tears every day, wallowing in self-pity parties. I decided that I was going crazy; I needed to change.


So, I did something that is scaring the crap out of me: I put school at the bottom of my priority list and moved exercise higher. More specifically, I moved swimming higher up.


First off, I want to clarify that I used to be a competitive swimmer back in the day, maybe over a decade ago. Swimming was MY EVERYTHING. It was the reason why I could beat every single boy in my grade and the grade above me at practically any field day event. As a fifth grader, I could do 15 pull-ups and 25 chin-ups. I could do over 100 push-ups or 50 burpees in a row (mainly because that was our penalty for being late to swim practice, and boy, I was always late thanks to my parents!). I could swim one lap completely underwater without taking any breaths and do this 4 times in a row. I thought it was totally normal to do those things as a kid. I quit when I was 13 years old, but I continued swimming by becoming a local swim coach for summer league teams. I eventually moved on to giving private lessons to kids/adults and helping them either with physical therapy or learning how to swim for the very first time. Since I started medical school, I have fallen out of swimming.


Even though I haven't really exercised as much as I did over 10 years ago, I can still do 25 push-ups without fail, 7 pull-ups, 10 chin-ups, and maybe 10 burpees before I fall over. I never had a problem with doing these things, and I owe a lot of that to swimming. I don't really know how to describe it other than there's just something amazing about being in the water and disconnecting yourself from the world --completely focusing on YOU. And you know what? Lately, I haven't focused on me, on the good things about me. I've just been focusing on my unhappiness and how much of an idiot I am.


Well, I am proud to say that I went to two swim practices this week! I decided to try out a local group that meets every week for swimming practice. They cater to "adult swimmers of all ability levels" and they state that they are a "growing family of swimmers who are improving their fitness, enjoying the water, and challenging themselves to meet their goals."


The first practice was tough. I had such a hard time swimming more than 200m at a time. Though most of the sets were freestyle, I switched it up and added in backstroke or butterfly to make it more challenging. I felt like I was dying in the pool, but it was really great. The coach there was a huge self-confidence boost to me; she kept complimenting me and said she hadn't seen a swimmer like me in ages. I was really happy to have a complete stranger believe in me; I hadn't had something like this happen in a long time. (In person, not on the internet! Thanks bluekiwi1 and monicalane!) It made me realize that I just needed someone watching me, keeping track of me so I wouldn't fail that person. I'm great with making up my own sets and what not, but I am horrible when it comes to self-accountability. It really helps when I know that someone is actually there and is counting on me to do a good job.


The second practice was a complete 180. Though I swam about the same amount, it was just awful. Why? The coach was different. She didn't care about being there. She was NOT a good coach. This lady just kept jabbering on with her daughters or the lifeguard and looked bored as hell. Again, the sets were all mainly freestyle and were actually easier than I expected, so I switched things around to try and make it more difficult for me. That was fine. I was okay with that. What I was not okay with was when I have some lady telling me how to swim and not giving a damn about anything she says. When I finished the last set, I looked around the pool to see where the coach was. She already packed her bags and shouted, "Good job! Bye!" across the natatorium and left, just like that. I was just shocked.


These two practices made me realize how important it is for me to lean on someone. I always thought that swimming is a very loner sport; usually you just do your thing and that's it. But these two swim practices made me realize how incredibly different they were from each other. It made me more appreciative of people, of strangers who can believe in you within seconds. It made me more appreciative of the community here. And it made me realize how alone I feel, not because I have no support, but because I haven't reached out to anyone.


Last thing I realized: I don't need a coach or mean students at my school to tell me that I'm doing a good job or bad job. (Though, their words can really hurt sometimes!) As long as I have my friends and family supporting me, as long as I actually talk about my life to someone, I can do this.


I swam 2000m the first practice and 1900m the second time. I managed to barely swim a 50m butterfly. I plan to do more than 2000m next week and hopefully will be able to swim 50m butterfly with more ease.


And you know what? I am very proud of myself for starting this road to recovery, to believing in myself again.

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