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“Have a Good Swim” – Life Lessons from Sue Boyles

Sue Boyles is an alum of the Big Change Program. This morning she wrote a post about her experience being totally unmotivated to get in her morning exercise. It's so good, with so much power and truth and “no-bullshit,” that I had to share it here. Enjoy!

I slept horribly last night. As in, hot, cold, hot, cold, is that a dog on my head?, hot cold, stop licking my face, hot cold…

I woke up tired and grumpy. Today is my scheduled gym/swim day. I could blow it off, but what would that tell you guys about my level of commitment if something so minor overrides my need to take care of myself.

So, I am pulling into the parking lot of the pool facility and I realize I forgot my ipod! No podcast this morning for me! Shit! That’s gonna suck.

I get into the fitness room and plop my tired ass on the mat and start stretching. Everything hurts. I’m half assing my way through this stuff, pick up some weights, and do the thing while bitching the whole time.

After 15 minutes, I give up and go down to the locker room. I’m getting my shit together and the lady next to me who just finished up her swim was packing it up. As she was leaving, she said, “Have a good swim.”

I said, “Thank you and have a good day.”

After she left, those words sunk in… Have a good swim. Huh…. It struck me that I’m in control of whether or not I have a good swim. I can make this as sucky as the weight training or I could shift my attitude and make it good!

HAVE A GOOD SWIM. I could do that! Even without a podcast or music.

I get in the pool, swim 10 minutes of freestyle, some fly, back and breast, then put on the fins. 10 minutes of that, the last lap being a full force, fastest possible swim. Then I did a relaxing side stroke and sculling, followed by freestyle for the rest of the time.

I didn’t have a good swim. I had a GREAT swim!!

I am amazed that I have so much control over how my mind can alter my perception and ultimately my day! Sometimes life throws you shit. And it sucks and it’s out of your control. But sometimes the shit is self created! And you can change it with a simple shift of attitude!

I’m still tired, but somehow rejuvenated at the same time!

Shine my friends!

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You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight

Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.

It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂

Tip Jar

This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by clicking the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


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2 comments on ““Have a Good Swim” – Life Lessons from Sue Boyles

  1. Melynda says:

    So needed to read this today. Thank you!

    1. Howard says:

      Sue will be happy to hear that her words were helpful and timely!

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