39 Reasons We Are Thankful for Swimming

duquesne-team
Photo Courtesy: Claire Nobles

By Lillian Nelson, Swimming World College Intern

With Halloween behind us, and the beginning of the holidays just a few weeks away, any swimmer knows that the hardest training of the year is upon us. We’re back in shape at this point, dual meets are in full swing, the weather is getting colder, and school is showing no mercy.

Especially for college swimmers, this time of the year is extremely stressful. Between midterms, finals, dual meets every weekend, high volume and high intensity training, and being challenged with succeeding at all of this…just throwing up your hands and quitting can seem like a sweet escape.

Sometimes we need a little reminder of how lucky we are to have all these opportunities knocking on our door. So when you feel like you can’t take it anymore, here are a few reasons to remember why we’re thankful for swimming:

  1. Because we have year-round beach bods.

  2. Because we can eat as much as we want, and we’ll just burn it off at practice later.

  3. Because if you can get yourself out of bed and into a freezing cold pool in the morning to get your butt kicked, it makes other daily tasks seem much more doable.

  4. Because of that 5 to 7 second period of time right after we dive in the pool to begin a workout, when everything around you is muffled, your mind is silent, and all you have to do is slide through the water.

  5. Because we get to wake up and be with our best friends for two hours in the morning…and another two hours later that same day.

  6. Because it gives us a temporary escape from all other aspects of life.

  7. Because we get to go on a training trip: the annual week-long excursion we take to just train, tan, eat, and make memories.

  8. Because of the way it shapes us to become well-rounded individuals, no matter how much adversity we may face.

  9. Because we have an excuse to go to bed at 8 p.m.

  10. Because we have an excuse to nap one to four times a day.

  11. Because we get the chance to watch our teammates and ourselves grow and mature.

  12. Because of the way it challenges us to practice good time management, which we will use for the rest of our lives.

  13. Because of the respect non-swimmers have for us because “there’s no way [they] could ever wake up that early every day” or “swim that many laps” or “do two practices in one day.”

  14. Because it teaches us that we are stronger than we ever thought we could be.

  15. Because it makes us appreciate hard work, due to the fact that we train crazy amounts of hours and yards, only to shave off a few seconds (or milliseconds).

  16. Because we are in the best shape of our lives.

  17. Because we can get a practice, a lift, breakfast, and a nap in, all before 10 a.m. on any given day.

  18. Because we have lungs of steel.

  19. Because WE are the only ones in complete control of how successful we can be.

  20. Because it conditions us to have respect for our coaches, our teammates, and ourselves.

  21. Because taper.

  22. Because we truly understand the concept of wanting to succeed as much as we want to breathe.

  23. Because when we put on a tech suit we feel like superheroes.

  24. Because there is no doubt that we earned our Thanksgiving dinner.

  25. Because our teammates are the best friends we’ll ever have.

  26. Because it teaches us how to work with people who have different opinions, qualities, and motives than us.

  27. Because we get to see the sun rise every morning.

  28. Because we are in an environment that allows us to learn to tackle the challenges of our sport while contributing to our education and growing as individuals.

  29. Because we get to be connected with people we would have never even met otherwise.

  30. Because it teaches us to be happy for others, while feeling inspired and challenged to rise to an even higher level of greatness.

  31. Because we are able to lean on 20-30 other people for support when we need it.

  32. Because we are being conditioned to appreciate the little things, and understanding that the little things can make all the difference.

  33. Because all swimmers are weird and goofy, so at least we’re in good company.

  34. Because sometimes all we need is a good workout to turn a bad day into a good one.

  35. Because of the sense of pride we walk with when we wear team gear.

  36. Because our team is our family.

  37. Because endorphins clear the mind, and are good for the soul.

  38. Because of the silence that overcomes an entire natatorium immediately before the starter says “take your mark.”

  39. Because of the elation that rushes through us when we look up on the scoreboard and see all our hard work pay off.

Jul 17, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Emily Overholt of Canada celebrates after winning the women's 400m freestyle final the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports Images

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6 years ago

Karina Salazar Gonzalez Marco Beltran Bernal

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6 years ago

Totally totally true – every single reason is on point. LOVE SWIMMING!

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6 years ago

Skye Hawley 33 is very true xxx

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6 years ago

There are not many sports which r this hard and take this much commitment. Love swimming xxx

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6 years ago

Luis Medellin

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6 years ago

Jasmine Harris

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6 years ago

Best exercise you can get for all abilities + fun

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6 years ago

because taper. Ha so true. plus you tell me anybody that does another sport and wakes up twice a day. also last thing when you wrote “Because we truly understand the concept of wanting to succeed as much as we want to breathe.” you mispelled breath with an extra “e” . great artical