4 Groups of People Swimmers Are Thankful For

Apr 15, 2015; Mesa, AZ, USA; North Baltimore Aquatic Club teammates Allison Schmitt and Michael Phelps check their goggles during practice session at the Arena Pro Swim Series at Skyline Aquatic Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher/Arizona Republic via USA TODAY Sports

4 Groups of People Swimmers Are Thankful For

By Courtney Bartholomew, Swimming World College Intern

(From the Archive)

It’s that time of year again. When swimmers start to become excited about a day dedicated to eating, taking a nap, and then eating again. I, for one, am really excited about Thanksgiving this year and it’s not because of the mashed potatoes. While I am unable to go home and spend the holiday weekend with my family due to swimming commitments, I have been extended an invitation to spend Thanksgiving with a former teammate’s family. To me, there is nothing more generous than a family opening their door to someone during the holidays, and for that I am extremely thankful.

As Thanksgiving rolls around this week, I think it’s important to recognize and highlight four important groups of people that swimmers are thankful for.

1. Teammates

Schroeder Swim Team - South

Photo Courtesy: Alex Hallam

Everyday swimmers dive into a pool, knowing that practice might be difficult, but we do it anyway to work towards a goal. We travel for long hours on buses to get to dual meets, sit in libraries studying until the wee-hours of the morning, and eat questionable food in dining halls to fuel our bodies.

However, we rarely do any of these things without our teammates by our side. Through these countless hours and numerous experiences of college and collegiate swimming, our teammates become our family away from home. It’s time to say thanks to our teammates for the support and encouragement they give on a daily basis, whether it be for that research paper you have due next week (that you haven’t started) or for a swimming goal you are attempting at a mid-season meet. To the teammates who make 12-hour bus trips laughable and fun with endless jokes and comments. To the teammates who send Facebook videos of puppies and posts about chicken nuggets to keep you entertained during library hours. To the teammates who watch holiday movies with you in June and stay up late laughing with you about absolutely nothing of importance. Teammates are not only your friends, but also your family.

2. Friends


Photo Courtesy: Claire Brehm

While I love giving thanks to teammates for all that they do, I think it’s also important to recognize and give thanks to the non-swimmer friends. These are the friends who understand that you swam 20 hours this past week and you have 200 pages of reading to do for a class, so they bring you coffee and snacks in the library. These are the friends who know you are on taper, so they offer to drive you to class so you do not have to walk and waste energy.

It’s time to say thanks to these friends for all of their “cheerleading efforts” as one of my friends calls it, and for their unconditional friendship, even during the dark days of pre-season training. So this Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks to the non-swimmer friends for all they do. For helping to make sure I experience all that college has to offer, including sports other than swimming. Thank you for being someone that I can talk to about when I really want to talk about the latest music, how great that movie was the other night, or how we wish we could get a decent night’s sleep. Thank you for sending me text messages in the library, encouraging me to get up out of my bed and do homework. For sending me Snapchats of you eating pizza that make me laugh when I am having a rough day. Thank you for being at all my swim meets and being my #1 cheerleader (other than my mom). Thank you for providing unforgettable experiences outside of the pool and for making sure I have a balance between being a swimmer and a student.

3. Coaches

Jun 18, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Michael Phelps (USA) on left with his coach Bob Bowan, Arizona State head swimming coach, during Day One of the Arena Pro Series at Santa Clara, at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, Calif. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Robert Stanton/USA Today Sports Images

While teammates and friends are important to making sure swimmers stay sane and have fun outside the pool. It’s essential to recognize all the hard work that our coaches put into facilitating the process of achieving our dreams and ambitions. It is time to thank the coaches who show up day in and day out to get you one step closer to the dream.

Thank you for being up at the crack of dawn, ready to motivate the team for a practice. For analyzing how I could have made certain adjustments in one race to go .05 faster. For listening to me talk about my goals and ambitions, then helping me make them a reality. Thank you for getting splits when I pace and during my race. For cracking jokes over sets or when I mess up the intervals. For understanding that I have a test and need more time to study. Thank you for dedicating your time and effort for our team’s goals and for my swimming aspirations.

4. Family

Photo Courtesy: Cindi Dayton

Photo Courtesy: Cindi Dayton

Even though I will not be going home this Thanksgiving to be with my family, I am so thankful to have them in my life. As swimmers, sometimes we forget that it was our parents that drove us to those early morning practices before we obtained that coveted drivers license. We take for granted the idea that our family is always just a phone call away when you have had a bad day or call with a question about laundry.

It’s time to give thanks to the people in our lives who will always be there, no matter what. The ones who offer love and encouragement for everything you do. Thank you to the parents who sacrifice their time and money to make sure their child is able to compete in the sport they love. For the siblings who will text you back at 10:44 p.m. on a weeknight when you really need someone’s opinion on an important matter. For the family members who travel hours to watch you compete and cheer loudly when your name is announced. Thank you, family, for always being there with your unconditional love and support.

So this Thanksgiving when you’re sitting around the dinner table with a massive plate of food, remember to thank the remarkable people in your life for all that they do!

A little bonus that I couldn’t forget to mention…

Thank you swimming for allowing me to burn enough calories during a practice to be able to eat that second helping of stuffing AND a slice of the homemade pumpkin pie. However, everything in moderation friends, we still want to be able to practice on Friday morning!

1 comment

  1. avatar

    No one ever invites Joe Cool home for Thanksgiving…

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