Fika Podcast episode threeOn this episode of the FIKA podcast, I interview my sister, Caroline Eriksdotter Elliot, on her journey as an elite swimmer and the identity crisis that ensued when she quit. Who was she if she wasn’t a swimmer? How did she find her new self?

Here are some of the topics we discussed:

  1. Caroline’s journey as an elite swimmer [0:48]
  2. Identity crises after swimming career [17:14]
  3. Advice for the confused [23:35]
  4. Full circle [32:15]

Links and Show Notes:

 



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Fika Podcast Episode 003: Finding Yourself with Caroline Elliot

Erica Eriksdotter: Hi Lovelies, it’s time for FIKA.  The Swedish word that means bonding and connecting with friends over coffee or tea.  This is the place to be for real talks and discussion about everything from healing, fine arts, motherhood and entrepreneurship to health and fitness. The focus is connecting the dots through consciousness and elevating how consciousness is directed through each guests’ career and life path.

My name is Erica Eriksdotter, born and raised in Sweden and I now live outside of Washington, DC. I am a fine arts painter and owner of Studio EriksdotterCertified Intra-Dimensional Healer and PR and Social Media Strategist. I am a modern woman, connected to Self who brings meaning to life through an earth centered truth.

1. Caroline’s journey as an elite swimmer [0:48]

Today, we’re having fika with Caroline Elliot, an elite swimmer from Sweden, turned accountant and a mother of two.  She will share her journey as an elite swimmer that consumed her life until the age of 25 and how she figured out who she was after being 100% swimmer and where she would take it to the next step in her life.

Erica Eriksdotter: Hi Caroline!

Caroline Elliot: Hello, good morning.

Erica Eriksdotter: Good morning. So, we’re actually recording this on your wedding anniversary. It’s early in the morning here in Virginia.  You are celebrating?

Caroline Elliot: Seven years.

Erica Eriksdotter: Seven years.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, shout out to Josh.

Caroline Elliot: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: For sticking to you.

Caroline Elliot: [laughing] This whole time.

Erica Eriksdotter: We should probably also…

Caroline Elliot:  He’s a trooper.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, we should also mention that you are also my sister.

Caroline Elliot: That is correct.

Erica Eriksdotter: We actually, normally, speak Swedish, clearly with each other.

Caroline Elliot: Right.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, today we’re making an exception so more people will understand your journey and how you have, what tools that you have put in your tool box to help you figure out your path. So, umm, this is a little, while not weird, it’s still a little weird. Sitting across from each other and speaking English.

Caroline Elliot: Absolutely.

Erica Eriksdotter: In a room where there are no English speakers, only two Swedes.

Caroline Elliot: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: So, and, uh, we have both came to the US at the same time.  We’ve studied, we’ve lived together as adults for seven years. We studied, we went to the same college, George Mason University. And, then we’ve continued to live in the same area.  So, we’re actually only 20 minutes, well 15, 10-15 minutes away from each other outside of Washington, DC in Virginia.  Ahhh, I’m totally biased, of course, on how fantastic I think you are. You have been my close friend for, well, thirty-five years.

Caroline Elliot: [laughing] States my age there.

Erica Eriksdotter: States my age. Ummm, we just know that you’re older.

Caroline Elliot: [laughing] Yes.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, can we talk a little bit, umm, how, umm, you got into swimming and how you became an elite swimmer?

Caroline Elliot: Well, I think my first memory is that my oldest sister started to take swim lessons. And, then umm, ahhh, I said that maybe I wanted to try it, too. But, then I just remember moving up from, you know, started at, you know, the groups who called sharks or dolphins or something like that and then you just kept moving up. And, then, ummm…

Erica Eriksdotter: Did you start when you were three like I did?

Caroline Elliot: I think it was four or five.

Erica Eriksdotter: Okay.

Caroline Elliot: Maybe even five.

Erica Eriksdotter: And then you quickly excelled.  Because, Angelic and I we were fairly good as well, but we were nowhere near your talent.

Caroline Elliot: I think I just decided early on without even knowing it that I was just, it was going to be um, it was just something that I just dedicated my youth to or most of my life to. And it’s just something that was part of me that I couldn’t explain.  I just needed to be in the pool.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, at the age of sixteen, you moved away from home to be, to go live at… you were accepted because you were that good, to live at a swimming gymnasium as we say in Swedish.

Caroline Elliot:  Swimming high school.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, swimming high school.  So, you were sixteen, moved away from home, umm, to be, so you swam. Tell me a little bit about what an average day was.  You swam in the morning?

Caroline Elliot: Well, we uh, um, most of us, we were maybe around fifteen, sixteen people at this specific school.  I think there were three or four at the time across the country. We would normally all come in on a Monday morning and just go to school and then we would have our first afternoon practice that Monday afternoon.  But, then there would be, um, you know, twice a day, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then a morning practice on Friday. And, then we would go home, and have practice or competition during the weekend. So, um, or during the weekend. So, we had, huh, we had a lot of hours in the pool.  Every afternoon after the swim practice we would go to the gym and work out, and then would be dinner, then homework and then, you know, we were ready to crash. So…

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, and they were…

Caroline Elliot: It’s a lot of time working out.

Erica Eriksdotter: And you had special food too? Or am I remembering that? I remember Mom like cooking you separate food and like weighing it on the scale.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah

Erica Eriksdotter: Was that later?

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, we had some weeks here and there where we did more tests.

Erica Eriksdotter: Blood tests, swimming tests.

Caroline Elliot: Blood tests, yeah, just to see what our nutrition was and you know, try to figure out what we needed more or less of.

Erica Eriksdotter: At sixteen, you were Swedish Junior Champion for?

Caroline Elliot: For breaststroke.

Erica Eriksdotter: 100-Meter Breaststroke.

Caroline Elliot: 100-Meter Breaststroke and I won that for 200-meter breaststroke. I won’t point to, but there was on specific competition that would, that you qualified into the junior national team. And, that time I won that 100-meter breaststroke. But, my event was really 200-meter breaststroke.  But, I remember my 100 meters’ event was before the day before my 200 or two days before my 200-meter breaststroke and I just went for it. I wasn’t, that wasn’t necessarily the event I needed to win in my mind. So, but it was just effortless. And, I wasn’t even tired when I got into, when I hit the wall. So, it was an amazing feeling.

Erica Eriksdotter: And, what do you think that did?  I mean, clearly you had like spent years and years and years to that point.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: But, what do you think that was clicking in that moment that you’re like that made that happen for you?

Caroline Elliot: I was so ready.  I remember being in really, really good shape for that specific competition.  And, I knew I had a goal. And, I wanted to, you know, qualify, for the Junior National Team and be a part of that huge competition that was later that summer and it was in Leeds, in England.  And, I just really wanted to be there. It was just part of me.  I just had to be there.  And, it was so much leading up to that point. So, I put, it was just like, I felt like a bullet in the water.  Nothing could beat me at that time. But, when I won, I was surprised in a way, because that wasn’t my event.  But, then, I was like, okay, I can do this.  So, I was so much more relaxed for when my event for 200-meter breaststroke was.  But, I came third, just because I had already, you know, the load of pressure had already, like, you know, it just went away.  And, I felt like, okay, I’m part of the team now, and I can kind of relax.  So, my 200 breaststroke event was, ahh, it was different.

Erica Eriksdotter: The air had kind of gone out of it?

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, it was like popping a balloon.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Caroline Elliot: Yea, so my goal was

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, performed at your highest.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, but when we did the qualifies in the morning. I had a lane 8, so I was just barely made it to the finals.

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh.

Caroline Elliot: But, then I came third.  And I was like, nobody I think  saw me on the outside lane.

Erica Eriksdotter:  The outside lane.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, the outside lane.  It was hard to see the middle to when you swim.  You can’t necessarily turn your head when you swim breaststroke. So, but I came third.  I was proud of that because I had a personal best.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, that got you onto the Swedish National Team?

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, Yeah, it did.  But, my qualifying event to also swim in Leeds, England was the 100-meter breaststroke just because that was the event I qualified with.  But, the 200 was the event that I mostly trained for.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Caroline Elliot: So, that was kind of a game changer to, it was like now I need to put my game up or…

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh, to also do the 100?

Caroline Elliot: To also do the 100.  Cause they didn’t make me swim the 200 in Leeds. So…

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh!

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, so 100 is the event that I qualified for and that was the event that they..

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh, I didn’t realize that.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: I wasn’t in Leeds; I didn’t get to watch you there.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: That was pretty amazing.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah

Erica Eriksdotter: I’m surprised.  That’s weird that we didn’t go.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, I don’t think a lot of families came and watched.  It was a just a…

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, Yeah.

Caroline Elliot: But it was huge! It was a lot of impressions.  Other swimmers, everybody looked so big and so…

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Caroline Elliot: Like, you know.

Erica Eriksdotter: You got nervous just being there.

Caroline Elliot: I got nervous just being there.  Just watching their swimmers, they looked so experienced, and here I was, you know I had just had qualified for a 100-meter breaststroke.

Erica Eriksdotter: Little me!

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, little me.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, how old were you?  You were still 16 at this point?

Caroline Elliot: Umm…

Erica Eriksdotter: Because I only saw you on some weekends. You would come home and we would watch ‘Friends’ together.  That’s like our number one TV show.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, we have every episode recorded.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah. We would watch it together. I would have to wait because it aired in Sweden on Thursday nights. And I would wait, I recorded, and I couldn’t watch it and we would watch it together when you’d get home. So, you’re sixteen, around sixteen still at this point.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, around that time

Erica Eriksdotter: And then how long did you continue swimming and what were your goals after coming on to the Swedish National Team?

Caroline Elliot: Um, well, I was with the National Team, well the Junior National Team for about a year. So, I was with, we had some other competition training camps and things like that during the year. Just, you obviously have to keep qualifying.  I remember changing swim teams also in the middle of when I was at that swimming high school. Changing team to a bigger one that was a little bit closer to Stockholm that would give me more of a push, give me more experience at that level that I really needed.  But, my, I think it was my third year, we went to training camp for two weeks.  And, we had, we were obviously in the pool all the time. But, one of the changes, one of the things that they wanted us to do is to do some aerobic before the afternoon practice. And, I had, we were on bad floor or…

Erica Eriksdotter: Cement.

Caroline Elliot:  Cement [laughing] It wasn’t even a floor, it was outside.  I had probably wrong shoes, wasn’t used to jumping around or anything like that.  So, always going for hardcore, 200%, I was into it, it was music, it was we were pumped up and we had fun. But, I had my shins got really badly beaten up from that.  I just never really had so much pain in my shins before.  I was limping around.  That kind of was a game changer too because I wasn’t able to push away from the wall just doing my flip turns, I wasn’t able to push off the wall.  And, it just threw me for a loop.  And, so, um, after that, I was just in a lot of pain.  It took me a long time to heal and it changed the track..

Erica Eriksdotter: I know that Mom took you to all the top doctors in Sweden.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: We drove down to Gothenberg to see this, um, trainer.  He was a coach for a soccer team down there in Gothenberg and he was I guess, more their doctor or something like that.

Erica Eriksdotter: It was the national soccer team, right?

Caroline Elliot: I can’t remember.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Caroline Elliot: But, we went to his house.  I don’t know how we got in touch with this guy. But, and we weren’t able to have a solution, you know.  He didn’t find anything that was wrong.

Erica Eriksdotter: So you were training for the Olympics in Sydney.  Like, that was your next end goal and the shins kind of never healed and that’s…

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, I mean, Yeah, I mean I definitely had my eyes on that goal.  I think when I got hurt a changed, it changed my mindset in a way that I was actually very surprised by. And, I got more curious about what happened outside of the pool.  Um, and my focus was, um, you know, it wasn’t 100% anymore.  It went down to like 70/30.  You know, 70% was there, but then the other 30% got curious about, “Oh, what did I miss?”

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, cause for, for…

Caroline Elliot:  This whole time, when I was in the pool swimming.

Erica Eriksdotter: Young life, you had dedicated every living, every waking moment to swimming and yeah you’ve done your homework but you didn’t do much else. It was that dedication.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, it was tough because I had to um, I wasn’t able to swim as much and when you’re a team, you want to do what the team is doing. I had to be on the side of the pool.  Do more, you know, you would have a program on for strength straining, you did sit-ups and push-ups and lunges and all that stuff.  While everybody else was in the pool. And, it was mind-boggling because I couldn’t get over, you know, trying to refocus and set new goals. It was difficult. Cause I didn’t necessarily know what my goal was anymore. So, it, I had a shift, I would say. I was able to come back a little bit after that.  But the focus, never, that I had before my injury never came back.

Erica Eriksdotter: That’s what you have to have as an elite swimmer.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s like anything.  You have to go all the way and your focus has to be there. And, you have to, you know it’s nothing can stand in your way kind of mind set.

Erica Eriksdotter: No matter what it takes.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, exactly no matter what it takes. It wasn’t there anymore.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, how old were you at that point? When you kind of realized that?

Caroline Elliot:  It’s my senior year in high school.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, age?

Caroline Elliot:  Eighteenish.  Nineteen.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, um, how did you get to that point?  Where you’re like, I think I need to leave swimming?

Caroline Elliot: Well, swimming was such a huge part of my life, I never thought about the rest of my life. So, I never thought that swimming would end.  That kind of feeling.

Erica Eriksdotter: Some of your swimmer pals, or not pals, but like the people who you were swimming and competing against are actually today, still competing in Sweden.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, one of them I competed with when I was younger, she’s still competing at a very high level.

Erica Eriksdotter: Do you want to mention her name?

Caroline Elliot:  Therese Alshammar.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, it’s fun looking back. You know, we were much younger. Yeah, very, very, very, very nice girl.  I am actually very proud of her today.

2. Identity crises after swimming career [17:14]

Erica Eriksdotter: Great, yeah. So, to, um, so you were born and raised in Sweden.  You became a swimmer at 4 or 5. You swam pretty much every single day at competitions and then you started swimming high school in Hallsberg.

Caroline Elliot:  Yep.

Erica Eriksdotter: And then, you became, you qualified to be on the National Swedish swimming team.

Caroline Elliot:  The Junior Team.

Erica Eriksdotter: The Junior Team. Cause you were still just a baby at age of 16.

Caroline Elliot: [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: And, um, and then you were injured.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: Trying to qualify or trying to like build up to more, being part of more the adult National Team.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah. Yeah,Yeah exactly.

Erica Eriksdotter: And then coming to that moment where you’re okay, what the heck do I do now?

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah. It was scary.

Erica Eriksdotter: And I guess allowing yourself to figure out, okay well, here’s, it’s basically like a blank slate, right? It’s a blank canvas to say like…

Caroline Elliot:  Hmmm, Hmmm.

Erica Eriksdotter: To say like, say, Okay, what do I like?

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Erikdsotter: How do I function without measuring my food?  Or eating this amount of food?

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: Do I like living here?  Or, do, I like? What do I like to wear when I’m not wearing a swimsuit every single day.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, I guess it’s the, it’s trying to that, it’s almost like starting over in a way, where…

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: Trying to figure out who are you?

Caroline Elliot:   Yeah, I really did have an identity crisis. I didn’t really know who I was outside of the pool.  And it broke me down a few times.  Just, but, I didn’t know what my feelings were.  I didn’t know how to explain them; I didn’t know what they were.  And, I just really had to figure out.  Really, it was just as simple as what do I like to wear, except my you know, sweatpants that says, you know, a swim team on it.  Or my big parka set in the winter time. You know, it’s like, what shoes do I go buy?  It was just so simple.  My swimming life was so simple, where just everything made sense. And, now, here I am, trying to refocus and like…

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Caroline Elliot:  You know.  I don’t know.  Just trying to figure things out.  It’s like you said, it’s like trying new foods.  I don’t have to this humongous portion every time.  I can actually eat different things and try new activities. So, it was a slow process.  But, I still needed the exercise even if…  I joined a gym when I started working in Stockholm. But, what I enjoyed the most I think is just being completely sweaty, exhausted, like, the feeling that I recognize you know.  I feel comfortable with because that is the feeling you always had after your practice.  But, it was also something that was different.  Now, you’re not in the pool.  You can hear people.  You can talk to other people.  You hear music.  You go along and it’s like…  It was like a heartbeat that was so strong, and I was just like, I need more of this, I need more of this.

Erica Eriksdotter: An allowing yourself to figure out, okay, I like this.  I want to do more of this.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: But, I don’t like this, okay, so I’m not doing more of this.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah. Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: Looking back at your life as a swimmer, what were the challenges?

Caroline Elliot:  I think I had a struggle with not embracing who I really was.  Not necessarily that I wasn’t a swimmer, because I was. But, just really who I was.  Like, Caroline is who she is and not trying to change myself for anybody else.  It could be, you know, it could be just influences from friends, from school, from coaches.  You know, trying to be, trying to embrace yourself, I think was the challenge.  I think looking back, was, I wasn’t really sure who Caroline was back then either, even though swimming was a part of my life and I knew what to do. It was comfortable. I was in a safe place.  And, I knew exactly how to do it.  And that’s what I was, I was really good at it.  So, I think something that I struggled with was knowing who I was because I didn’t embrace change.  Cause, any time that I had change, it was scary and I wanted to back out. So, when…

Erica Eriksdotter: Which is odd because from the outside here’s this, being inside looking at you.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: My sister.  That is difficult to understand. Because, here’s this woman who is pushing herself, the boundaries and competing at the highest level.  Going to, ahh, you know, European competitions, and doing everything that most people, I think, would find petrifying.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, Yeah, exactly.

Erica Eriksdotter: And, to you that wasn’t the change?

Caroline Elliot:  No, that was comfortable.

Erica Eriksdotter: That was comfortable.

Caroline Elliot:  My body knew exactly what to do. My muscles just, you know, they picked up and they knew what to do.

Erica Eriksdotter: Cause you had trained them.

Caroline Elliot:  I trained them.  It was something that I did every day.  And, my body knew exactly what to do. My mind needed to be in a specific space or place when I did it.  And, everything just functioned.  So, when things started to happen in my life where, okay, swimming’s not a part of it anymore, I had to change.

Erica Eriksdotter: Mmmmm.

Caroline Elliot:  And, um, at first, I didn’t embrace it. Um, and I was scared to death and I didn’t know really know what to do. So, the initial thought of just going to the US, but not knowing what to do there, was the only thing I knew.  I had to go there. I was scared as heck.

3. Advice for the confused [23:35]

Caroline Elliot:  But, that’s the only clue I had and I think today I would have told myself at that age at 21 or whatever I was when I moved to the or 24 or whatever when I moved to the US, I just wish I would have looked back and told myself, it’s like, “Just embrace it.”  “Look at the things that you have accomplished.  Recognize it. And receive the gifts and now let’s build on it. And just take one step at a time. Slowly. But just embrace what you have, embrace the change that is coming.”  Because that is the only way you can grow.  If you embrace change and things are moving around and being shifted. Energy is coming from different directions, just go with it and grow. That’s the only way to grow.

Erica Eriksdotter: What tips can you share for other people? Who are finding themselves not really knowing who they are today.

Caroline Elliot:  Something that worked for me was I just studying people.  Being still for a moment even, if you’re in a coffee shop or something like that.  Having your favorite cup of tea or coffee and just watching people and wondering where are they going.  Why are they going there?  Did somebody tell them to go there?  Are they inspired to go somewhere? Do they have goals in their life? Do they really following their heart and listening to themselves?  And I think something could spark interest there.  It’s like really looking at, okay, where am I going?  Do I have people in my life who are telling me to do things?  Or, am I really following what my gut feeling is telling me to do? I think that’s something that you can, I think that if you switch your focus and you look at gratitude and things that you’re actually grateful for in your life and you can put things in perspective.  I think you can ultimately receive more if you realize what you really have.  And, when we take just five minutes every day to appreciate something that it’s just very simple.  We have fresh water. We have medical care.  Indoor plumbing. You know, we have just very simple things.  Our car that will take us to work or to hang out with friends or family.  Just being grateful for the really, really small things, I think could put a perspective in your life and realize that the small things that you already have.  That you can enjoy.  I think you could, it would make a change.  It takes practice.  I try to do this every day.  Where, you just list five things every day that you’re thankful for.  You have to make it a habit and make it a routine.  But, I think that is a good start for somebody that is just lost basically and doesn’t know what the next step is.  But, if you realize what you already have, you can move on from there. And just start listening to your inner self.

Erica Eriksdotter: If you’re not sure where to start, umm, I had a moment, several years ago where I was also at that path.  You know, I was coming out of being a completely full-time artist and then going back into PR and Social Media corporate world.  And, I felt lost because I felt okay, while PR and Social Media are my passions, I thought I was going to be a full-time artist the rest of my life.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, I had a moment where I also was doing this exercise.  And, for me, I at that moment wasn’t sure what I was grateful for.

Caroline Elliot:  Hmmm, Hmmmm.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, I was grateful for that I had a dresser.  I was grateful for, that I had a bed. I was grateful for that I had, you know, and then counting all of it and then even if you have to list how many socks you have.  Like, when you’re putting that tangible stuff into what you’re grateful for.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter:  Then, you will understand how much you actually have.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter:  Instead of what you’re missing.

Caroline Elliot:  Exactly.

Erica Eriksdotter: When you’re putting that and when you’re focusing on what you have, that magnifies, right?

Caroline Elliot:  Mmmm, Mmmmm.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, for me it was important to because I wasn’t sure what I was grateful for because I was so sad that I had to list the obvious things.  Those were the things that I visually was looking at.  I was in bed, writing in my journal. I was thankful for the dresser.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: My closet.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, you know my cat.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: Things that I was actually visibly seeing.  And that’s how I started.  And then, the next day, you may be grateful for the shoes you were wearing that day.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah. And that you were able to buy those shoes.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah. They will take you places.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Caroline Elliot:   And you can continue. Those pair of shoes will take you places.  You would have a fun night out with those shoes. You’re start thankful to who also? Who did the laces on your shoes?  And who actually put the heel on the shoe?  The leather came from somewhere else.  Just thankful for the people that made the shoe.  We can continue.  You can continue and be thankful this little shoe that was just a little shoe.  But, then all of a sudden there are so many parts of the shoe that you can be grateful for. And, it could be just driving into work.  You know, seeing all these trees that are gorgeous in the fall. It’s like oh, you know, somebody one day maybe planted a tree and then it just got bigger and bigger.  Something like the move on and move on behind the item or move beyond the whatever it is you’re looking at or feel good about it.  And just be thankful for those things.  It’s a good, it’s just a good habit to get into.

Erica Eriksdotter: How do you feel swimming has added value to your life? And contributed to the person you are today?

Caroline Elliot:  I mean, it really made me who I am today.  You know? I think, I, you know visualization is something that we did. You know, visualize yourself reach a goal. Hit the wall first. You know, doing sessions where you just lay down and close your eyes.  You listen to calm music and you kind of meditate so to say. But, it’s a visualization exercise where you see yourself win.  You’re the first. And, um, I think that’s something that has really, really helped me today.  I can see myself reach goals and you know, and now write them down.  I think in a way take responsibility for my life.  If you take 100% responsibility for your life, you…  Those are the choices that you made and you decide where to go, who to be and what to do in your life.  All the choices say if you take responsibility for those, I think swimming has helped me do that today. And, you know, I made choices in swimming that led me places. You know, it gave me so much in return because I was um, um, it’s something that I manifested back then and it appeared and it’s something that it came true and today, I’m seeing the same results.  Because, I take 100% responsibility for what I say, what I do, and how I do it.  You can go a long way.

4. Full circle [32:15]

Erica Eriksdotter: So, we are coming full circle.  This summer, your daughter, your oldest child…

Caroline Elliot:  Yes.

Erica Eriksdotter: Started swimming. She wanted to swim.  She had tried many different things.  She was…Children are so amazing.  Cause, you know she started, she had done a couple of other things and then she wanted to do ballet.  She went to ballet and she was like, dude, this sucks.

Caroline Elliot:   Yeah [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: I cannot stand still like that.

Caroline Elliot:  Too slow. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: Too slow. And, then um, you know.  She recognized, you know.  She tried something new.  She was brave to try something new. It’s so amazing how we can learn from children.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: She tried it.  She went full in.  And she tried it and she was like, mmm, not for me. Let’s try it, what’s the next thing I can try and see if this is me or not.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, anyways, so she started swimming.

Caroline Elliot:  She did.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, no pressure. Because here’s, and I meant there was no pressure to start swimming.  Even though you know our older sister she has three fantastic children who excel in every single sport and in school and etcetera and they are great swimmers.  Clearly, she had been influenced, you know?  She saw them and she wanted to do what they were doing.  But, here’s, you know, the Mom, is an elite swimmer from Sweden and Josh, her father…

Caroline Elliot:  Also swam for 10 years.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah, really good swimmer as well here in the US. And, umm…

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, he beat me freestyle.  That bugs me. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing] You mean the time?

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah, the time.

Erica Eriksdotter: The time, when you were at the highest?

Caroline Elliot:  Yes.  Ah, and his sister was also a really, really good swimmer, so there’s swimmers all over the place.

Erica Eriksdotter: That’s amazing.

Caroline Elliot:  Yeah.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, Corinne, so she started swimming.  How did it feel like when she started?

Caroline Elliot:  I was so excited. Because, it brought back so many memories. And, I felt like even the smell of the chlorine [laughing] as funny as it sounds, um, you know, it felt like home. Ok, I’m in a place I know where I’m doing.  Obviously it felt comfortable, but I also was really scared.  Because, I was like, okay you gotta back off.  You can’t say what she’s doing right or wrong?

Erica Eriksdotter: Oh, as a parent?

Caroline Elliot:  As a parent. Um, because, I, if she doesn’t want to swim, I don’t want her to swim. If she wants to be a gardener or if she wants to be a politician. Whatever she wants to do, I just want to embrace it.  Because she is really who she is.  She’s not me. Even if she came from me, she’s 50% me, 50% my husband.  She’s not us.  So, she has to, I want her to, early on, feel comfortable with who she is and start listening to her intuition and what her gut feeling is telling her.  If she doesn’t want to do anything, like the ballet, she was like, “I don’t like this.” Okay.  Let’s do something different.  Let’s not waste time.  Let’s figure out what you want to do. And, she loves watching these YouTube videos.  All the how to play with certain things and toys.

Erica Eriksdotter: Reviews

Caroline Elliot:  Reviews. Toy Reviews

Erica Eriksdotter: Toy Reviews.

Caroline Elliot: She’s like, Mom, I want to do YouTube videos. You know, so, whatever she wants to do.

Erica Eriksdotter: She’s like her aunt.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, I’m not going allow her to do YouTube videos. [laughing]

Erica Eriksdotter: [laughing]

Caroline Elliot: But, it’s uh, she just, she’s teaching me so much that it’s unexpected. So, she’s a power to be reckoned with.

Erica Eriksdotter: So, Caroline will be back.  She will talk about, you know, she’s an accountant and she will have some bookkeeping tips for us small business owners but also personal finance tips, you know.  Shares how she’s done it as a professional but also how she’s applied it to her household.  The changes in motherhood and the culture experiences.  The life coaching and also I want to be brave and say that I also [totally wanna] talk about grief.  We lost our Dad and will be interesting to see grief and how that is applied in different countries, etcetera.  So, alright, that’s it for this episode.  Caroline, thank you for joining me today.

Caroline Elliot: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Erica Eriksdotter: Yeah.

Caroline Elliot: I enjoyed it.

Erica Eriksdotter: The next episode will feature another guest. But, like I said, Caroline will be back.  Like I said, if you have any questions regarding the path and the swimming path and Caroline’s journey or if you are in a similar situation and you have any questions regarding and how tips to apply it to your life, feel free to ask them using the #fikapodcast on social or you can use the link in the show notes.  It takes you to a form, a quick and easy form that you can fill out and that will be private question that we can ask next time on the podcast.

You can find me, Erica, at studioeriksdotter.com and please join my email list if you want to stay up to date on upcoming events, etcetera.  You can access it at the bottom of my website. And while you’re at it on the internet, I would love for you to leave the Fika podcast an iTunes review.  You can also reach out to us and leave us a review on the blog.  I always post the podcast episodes on the blog at studioeriksdotter.com. That way we know what topics you are enjoying and want to hear more about.  Don’t forget to subscribe to in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode.  Thank you for listening.  Bye!!!

Caroline Elliot: Bye, thanks for having me.


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