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On tiredness, bad form and self talk

I’m a good swimmer. My form is pretty good (at least to non-swimmers), and my powerful strokes allow me to cut through the water like a knife.

For fifty meters.

From about 58 meters (or as far as I can glide after pushing off the wall) things go downhill quickly and it takes a lot of effort to slow my slide down the asymptote towards doggy paddle.

I get a bit tired. Form starts to slip. It takes more effort to maintain good form. I get tireder. Form slips further. Bad form is less efficient. I tire faster still… and so it goes on.*

Bad form is costly, and the worse it gets and the longer it goes on for the more it costs us.

And if you’re like me, the same kind of slide can happen at work. You have a bad moment or two – either because something throws you off or you’re in the discipline death spiral – and your head goes down. Routine tasks take longer, so you resent them, so you grumble. You blame everyone else, and you blame yourself. You’re short – or defeatist, or complainy, or critical – with your colleagues. The mood is infectious. You drag on each other, becoming a chain-gang rather than a peloton. You slow down, and you tire faster.

Watch your form. Build stamina by working to maintain it when tired. Encourage the peloton.

*I can actually swim for more than fifty meters… just much more slowly than that powerful first fifty, and it never feels as good

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...