59 - The Four Pillars Philosophy and Swimming

TL:DR | How do you control your mental state, your body physiology, regulate your emotions, be one with yourself, all while swimming? You balance your four pillars during the act of swimming.

2 min read
59 - The Four Pillars Philosophy and Swimming

The four major areas of life come into swimming far deeper than you might think!

The Four Pillars Philosophy was something I created to modernize ancient philosophy on our lives. It focuses on four key areas: the Mind, Body, Spirit, and Emotions. Each have a profound impact on how we experience our lives.

Why + Philosophy:

It is pretty easy to think about how the body plays in the swim world. You use your muscles, they get tired. Your heart rate and lung capacity are things to train to get stronger. They are literally levels, that you can sort of measure, and level up over time.

The mind is similar, but a lot of people are used to viewing mental progression as leveling up. It sometimes takes a bit of convincing that you can level up the mind, before that process can start. Such as in swimming teaching the fact that you can hold your breathe on 'empty', which seems counter intuitive but is true.

The mind-body connection is pretty well known even beyond the swimming world.

However when we get beyond the two pillars that people may be most familiar with. Then you get to the Spirit and Emotions pillars.

Your emotions have a profound impact on your ability to do anything, let alone swim, and they can even change the core temperature of your body. You also might get upset quickly if you are "failing" to do the swimming technique you are trying. Thereby adding to the blockage of progression.

Finally, you have the spirituality behind it. The meditative qualities of swimming. The sensation of being one with the water. Understanding the flow of the waves, and the psychological state of FLOW. Not to mention how those seemingly distinct concepts are connected.

How + Physics:

Usually I don't list the Four Pillars in a numerical way, sort of as I did in the last section. However I thought in the realm of swimming in particular, there is a pattern. Just like these posts: WHY -> HOW -> WHAT.

Body -> Mind -> Emotions -> Spirit

These are how you level up farther in the grand scheme of things. As you learn the literal BODY movements you may need the why behind the way we do things a certain way. You need the How, and the What. Then you learn the others.

When you get to the MIND, it gets more complicated, as we add in psychology (why), neuroscience (how), and the subroutines of the body and how it connects to the brain (what).

After that your EMOTIONS can be a multiplier or a wrecking ball on the first two pillars. Causing you to either compound progress, or hinder it.

When you get to the highest levels, then you start to see the bigger picture, and see how swimming falls into life itself. (SPIRIT)

What + Psychology:

When I talk about this kind of stuff, it often gets interpreted as "woo woo" type of thing. However it really is true, and they always are there. Whether you see it or not.

Even as an instructor I can't always see it, but I see it far more than the learner. The patterns can help you or hurt you, and this post is exposing them to you.

This is advice for people to level up their swimming, or perhaps get started in the first place. While you swim you should make sure you are doing so in a public facility with a lifeguard on duty for safety.

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