Thanks for sharing. I was struck by the following part:
Attitude: At the higher levels of competitive swimming, something like an inversion of attitude takes place. The very features of the sport which the "C" swimmer finds unpleasant, the top-level swimmer enjoys. What others see as boring swimming back and forth over a black line for two hours, say-they find peaceful, even meditative, often challenging, or therapeutic. They enjoy hard practices, look forward to difficult competitions, try to set difficult goals. Coming into the 5.30 AM practices at Mission Viejo, many of the swimmers were lively, laughing, talking, enjoying themselves, perhaps appreciating the fact that most people would positively hate doing it. It is incorrect to believe that top athletes suffer great sacrificesto achieve their goals. Often, they don't see what they do as sacrificial at all. They like it.
Reminds me of the science of motivation:
1. Set Goals, Not Chores
2. Set Goals, Not Means: Focus on pursuing goals rather than working on means
3. Set Challenging Goals
4. Intrinsic Motivation: Pursuing an action as an end in itself (predicts persistence)
Ayelet Fishbach "Get it Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation"
Also reminds me of loving the process and "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it."