39 Thoughts Swimmers Have During the 200 Butterfly

Butterfly
Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse

39 Thoughts All Swimmers Have During the 200 Butterfly

By Sophia Chiang, Swimming World College Intern

We’re pretty sure most people are terrified of the 200 butterfly. Well, except for the likes of Kristof Milak, Mary T. Meagher and Michael Phelps. But let’s just make it clear that Phelps is absolutely an exception and not the rule. Even if you’re a 200 flyer and you swim the event at every single meet, there’s still a very strong love-hate dynamic going on with this event. No, it’s not as long as a 1500-meter freestyle (thank goodness) but it’s certainly no walk in the park either. Non-flyers are terrified of swimming this event, and while you certainly can attest that it’s not that bad, you’re not exactly thrilled to swim that much butterfly either (even if you train for it). Can we have the 50 butterfly back, please?

Although the event is only around two minutes long (possibly less than that if you’re an absolute animal), if you’re anything like me, a lot of thoughts can go through your head in that amount of time…

  1. Okay, it’s only a 200. I do that all the time in practice, right?
  2. Don’t take it out too fast or you’ll die. But definitely don’t take it out too slow. Wait, how do I do that again?
  3. That’s the girl next to me? I need to lift more.
  4. Alright, the heat before me is almost done. I can do this. I think.
  5. GO GO GO!
  6. Under waters, under waters, under waters! Dolphin dolphin dolphin!
  7. Okay, keep your cool.
  8. Hey this doesn’t hurt yet!
  9. I like butterfly a lot when I’m not in pain! I am flying!
  10. That girl is really going for it. I think I might be able to, too?
  11. I think I’m going to get going now.
  12. Okay, now I think I’m going to get going.
  13. Am I going out too fast? We are barely at the 100 mark…
  14. *turns* Oh wow, I definitely went out too fast. This one’s gonna hurt…
  15. HOW IS EVERYONE PICKING UP SPEED?!
  16. Okay, I got this. I have endurance (sort of). I can pick it up too.
  17. FIGHT THROUGH THE PAIN!!!
  18. I definitely need to beat this girl next to me. I can definitely catch her.
  19. Eh, not so sure anymore.
  20. PICK IT UP! YOU CAN DO IT!
  21. H-e-e-e-y, there’s that second wind! Okay, I definitely can do this!
  22. Last 50, here I come!
  23. Is everyone as tired as me?
  24. If everyone’s as tired as me, why aren’t they slowing down?
  25. It’s literally a 50. I do this everyday. Come on, body, pick it up!
  26. My mind says yes but my body says NO.
  27. This is MY. RACE.
  28. I’m going to black out.
  29. Is it normal to lose feeling in my shoulders? No?
  30. Well there go the shoulders. At least they don’t hurt anymore.
  31. Oh, and there go the legs. I think I am just a moving torso now.
  32. I could always stop.
  33. Last 10 meters! Fight through the pain!
  34. DON’T BREATHE, FINISH!
  35. How am I still alive?
  36. I am never doing that again.
  37. Just kidding, coach will make me do it next meet for sure.
  38. I actually love the 200 fly.
  39. That wasn’t so bad. Why was I complaining in the first place?
448 Comments
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6 years ago

28-31 had me crying! LOL

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I haven’t tried butterfly but experience some of these thoughts wen I swim 200 lengths breast stroke lol xx

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6 years ago

Not quite the same Sophia ? because you can slow down your pace of breaststroke and your stroke will not fall apart. What make fly so incredibly difficult is the fact that you have to swim it at fast pace in order to swim the stroke. So by the end of of the 200 fly you can’t back down at all or your stoke starts looking more like a drowning victim. You start to feel like your legs are sinking like you will go vertical at any moment. You also feel like there is a grand piano and an elephant on your back the last few strokes into the wall. I have swam the mile, the 800, the 500 and the 400IM and nothing ever really comes close to how it feels to be swimming the last few strokes of the 200 fly.

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Lol Yeh don’t think butterfly will ever be my type of stroke lol xxx

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6 years ago

I can only do 50 fly. I can’t even imagine 200 fly.

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6 years ago

Don’t imagine it, as it will mess you up. lol

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6 years ago

The 200 fly and 1650 are my daughter’s favorite events and have been for the last 10 years-6 days a week. She loves them!

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flutterby
6 years ago

In my last college meet, coach put me in the 200 fly. I had never swum the event and hadn’t even been swimming fly in workouts. My second hundred was over 30 seconds slower than my first. But I finished.

Years later as a masters swimmer, I decided to swim the 200 fly at every meet to “atone” for my college swim. Once I even swam three 200 flys back to back in a workout. I did manage to finally swim the 200 fly with only 10 seconds different between the two 100s. Now when friends try to get me to enter open water races, I tell them that I’ll enter an open water race after they swim the 200 fly. No one has ever taken me up on that.

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6 years ago

Hollye Blekestad I think these just swimming the 100 fly

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6 years ago

That’s how I feel during my 400

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6 years ago

I will never do the 400 screw that

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6 years ago

I did a 400 fly in practice once. Coach said we were all slacking and i disagreed with her. She told me to do a 400 fly, and i did it. And she told me i was a rock star afterwards. The 200 fly and 200 back were my faves, totally.

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6 years ago

Cayden does say why would anyone do 200 fly. Collette loves it!

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The only thought that I had when I did the 100 fly
Was either why the hell did I do it or that I am dieing

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6 years ago

I think Cayden has a point

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6 years ago

Back when I did the 200 for a moment I didn’t know it was me dying. Oxygen deprivation?

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6 years ago
Reply to  Mario Modesto

No. You’re not running out of oxygen, but when you work hard there’s a real need to breathe, mostly to expel the byproducts of your hard work.
Tried breathing every stroke? Lot of world fly records held by men and women that do.

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6 years ago
Reply to  Mario Modesto

It’s a joke Andrew. I’m 50 and have no intention of competing or suffering. Also I’m a breaststroker. IM was my torture. Thanks though.

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6 years ago

Just read this to my 2 daughters…my youngest (10 year old) did the 200 fly yesterday….she said this is exactly how she felt! ??

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6 years ago

Tiffany Cheng, I will never understand how you could ever finish this event. Let alone do it multiple times.

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6 years ago
Reply to  Eric Chou

Hahah me neither! I miss those days of being in shape!

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6 years ago

Rachael Caitlin McKay I thought it was just going to say “I’m dying” and “I’m dead” 39 times

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6 years ago

My number one thought was ALWAYS “Why does this have to be my best event?!” ?

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6 years ago

Very true! I remember thinking and feeling these same thoughts…..one more thought…..if I can swim sets of 400yd fly I can surely swim this 200.

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6 years ago

Rebecca Como – you definitely don’t think 38 and 39. Lol

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6 years ago
Reply to  Erinn Como

definitely not

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6 years ago

I’d like to know how many alleged “best athletes in the world” NFL players could swim a mere 25 yards of butterfly??

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6 years ago
Reply to  Barry Nilson

None!

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6 years ago
Reply to  Barry Nilson

Bo knows!

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6 years ago
Reply to  Barry Nilson

Zero many

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6 years ago

I’d like to know how many alleged “best athletes in the world” NFL players could swim a mere 25 yards of butterfly??

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6 years ago

THE 1500 M FREESTYLE IS MUCH WORSE THAN THE 200M FLY!

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6 years ago

Not quite the ? because you can slow down your pace of other strokes and your stroke will not fall apart if you do. What make fly so incredibly difficult is the fact that you have to swim it at fast pace in order to swim the stroke. So by the end of of the 200 fly you can’t back down at all or your stoke starts looking more like a drowning victim. You start to feel like your legs are sinking like you will go vertical at any moment. You also feel like there is a grand piano and an elephant on your back the last few strokes into the wall. I have swam the mile, the 800, the 500 and the 400IM and nothing ever really comes close to how it feels to be swimming the last few strokes of the 200 fly.

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6 years ago

I GUESS I HAVE TOO MUCH FAT ON ME. I SWIM IT SLOW.

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6 years ago

200 Fly is worse, I swim both events and the only event worse than the 200 Fly is 400IM. I really hate how they are my best events ?

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I see you left this list of thoughts to the less ‘colorful’ ones, & not the more ’emphatic’ ones that also sneak in quite often! LOL!!

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6 years ago

Lisa Schøn nr 32 og 39 hahhahahahha

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6 years ago

31’eren, forestil dig det

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6 years ago

Smertefuldt

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6 years ago

When I survived this race I never ever ever said “I love 200 fly”. #breaststroker

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6 years ago

Tini not even 200 XD

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6 years ago

That last lap always Burns

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6 years ago

Jessi, does Emma have any of these…hmmm…

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6 years ago

Alison Hynd I feel this on a spiritual level.

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6 years ago

This does happen, every time in 200 fly… No idea how the author remembered them all

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6 years ago

Read this to my 16 year old butterfler. She totally agreed!

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6 years ago

Should have gone for breast stroke!

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6 years ago

Don’t know how you did it Claire Gibbons ?

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6 years ago

While im swimming I sing songs

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6 years ago

200 breast is a much harder swim.

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Tyler Holman
6 years ago

They both sucked when we had to do them Andrew

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6 years ago

Not quite Andrew ? because you can slow down your pace of other strokes and your stroke will not fall apart if you do. What make fly so incredibly difficult is the fact that you have to swim it at fast pace in order to swim the stroke. So by the end of of the 200 fly you can’t back down at all or your stoke starts looking more like a drowning victim. You start to feel like your legs are sinking like you will go vertical at any moment. You also feel like there is a grand piano and an elephant on your back the last few strokes into the wall. I have swam the mile, the 800, the 500 and the 400IM and nothing ever really comes close to how it feels to be swimming the last few strokes of the 200 fly.

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6 years ago

I have my opinion and will certainly not read the short story you posted. Have a good day.

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6 years ago

LOL!

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6 years ago

Katie!!! X

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6 years ago
Reply to  Nikki Merrill

???? this is so true!!! ???

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6 years ago

Maddy Ryan I think you’d enjoy reading this

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6 years ago

Been there, done that …

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6 years ago
Reply to  Mark Boensel

Absolutely! There are probably another 5 not listed and those are laced with expletives.

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6 years ago

agree!!!! SO agree!

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6 years ago

Hahaha so true

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I do 10

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6 years ago

Dara Mchugh Murphy

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6 years ago

Andrea Hunkert das dürfte dir bekannt vorkommen 😉

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6 years ago

??

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6 years ago

Hahaha

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6 years ago

Gabriella Ribas

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6 years ago
Reply to  Lucas Ribas

“I’m going to black out.”
HAHAHAHA muito isso!! já passei por cada um deles !

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Anonymous
4 months ago
Reply to  Lucas Ribas

Not to mention, number 40, WHY?????

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6 years ago

Any of these go through your head Olivia Jennifer? Lol Charlie Borg

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6 years ago

Rachael Keir Laura Robertson will this be you pair this weekend ?

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6 years ago

????

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6 years ago

Erin Fuss 😀 so true

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6 years ago
Reply to  Sita Kusserow

11-12-13 beyond true

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6 years ago
Reply to  Sita Kusserow

yes thought the same! ??

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6 years ago

Brandon Mutch Tom Schmidt me in the 50

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6 years ago

Calo Gv >:o

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6 years ago

X q esa cara amor?

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6 years ago

Calo Gv pfff estaba buscando una carita riendose, no se xq salió esa

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6 years ago

Es una descripción demasiado fiel a la realidad, demasiado

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6 years ago

Igor Ciriviri freu dich drauf

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6 years ago
Reply to  Lena Baumann

??