Getting the “eye of the tiger”

Posted Ella Villas Articles

Throughout my life, I’ve often liked to think of myself as an underdog.

I’m fighting the odds, proving the critics wrong, accomplishing the unexpected.

I want people to say “Where did that guy come from?”

This fueled my college swimming performances, at each level.

And I’m pretty sure this attitude started when I was 7 years old and saw the movie “Rocky”.

Down on his luck, barely scraping by, and very unknown, Rocky trains in a run down gym, in the ghetto, and his heart, and a burning desire propel him all the way to fight the world champion (later this was referred to has having the “Eye of the Tiger”.)

And lately, I’m personally making a bit of a swimming comeback of sorts, and swimming in the equivalent of a Rocky pool- 4 tiny lanes, cloudy water, chlorine fumes penetrate the air, no triathletes or competitive swimmers anywhere in site.

Here I am at my Rocky pool:


I’ve had shoulder issues for a while, that I’m finally getting over.

Right now, it’s all about just swimming. Not getting fancy. I do freestyle, breastroke, and a little backstroke. I’ve gone from 400 yards to 800 at a time.

It’s not a lot. It’s a long way down from where I was in 2013 and cranking out 1.5 hour workouts in a 50m pool with professional triathletes and competitive masters swimmers.

But I kind of like it.

It feels like I’m getting the Eye of the Tiger back. Just me and the water, no expectations, no demands on my body, intervals, or cracking of the whip!

It’s more of a challenging mental exercise, to not try to do too much at once.

What about you? Do you have your own way to get back your “Eye of the Tiger”?

I’d love to hear about it!