8 Things You’ll Love and Hate If You Quit Swimming

Photo Courtesy: Kourtney Gavin

By Abby Boone, Swimming World College Intern

Originally Published April 29, 2015

You can take the swimmer out of the pool, but you can’t take the pool out of the swimmer… Or something like that.

1. The smell of chlorine. The smell of chlorine.

This one goes both ways. We all secretly love the refreshing smell of chlorine and the way it burns our skin, but not smelling like it and not sweating it from your pores every day is a pretty nice feeling too.

2. Clothes fit on your shoulders. Clothes might not fit in the waist.

Your body shape is going to change if you quit swimming. In due time your shoulders will get smaller and many of your muscles will even out. But if you aren’t careful, you might find that the fat you swore you lost in middle school is slowly coming back.

3. You no longer want to eat all day. You no longer have an excuse to eat all day.

Surprisingly, your body can survive without a full meal every two hours. However, that also means that you don’t need that slice of pie or bag of chips. Still, eat a cookie every once in a while in remembrance of the days you could come home from practice and eat a dozen cookies before you sat down to a Thanksgiving-sized dinner.

4. Your hair isn’t wet all day. You no longer have a reason to wear a messy bun.

Suddenly your hair is going to be a lot healthier. Unfortunately, that means people expect you to wear it in a style that isn’t a knot on top of your head or a frosted shaggy mess men like to call the “chlorine-kissed” look.

5. Your coach doesn’t tell you when you can shave. You have to tell yourself that you need to shave.

As every swimmer knows, there are certain expectations in the “real world.” The swim world knows why men and women wait six months before they shave their legs, but everyone else seems to think women should shave a little more often than that. Men, it’s your choice when you do or don’t shave your legs. Your beard is another story though. Consider trimming that every so often.

6. You have friends who aren’t your teammates. You’ll miss talking about nothing but swimming with your teammates.

Again with that “real world.” Out there, they talk about things like politics, basketball and technology. Words like Lezak, Speedo, and hypoxic training are a foreign language to them.

7. You’ll never have to put on another racing suit. When you put on your old practice suit it will feel like a racing suit.

Don’t swim for a month and you will be surprised at how tight that loose practice suit is. You won’t be sure if you grew or if the suit shrank, but just to be safe…blame it on the suit.

8. You don’t have to go to 6 a.m. practice. Your body still wakes up for 6 a.m. practice.

You will forever be a morning person. Even if you aren’t a morning person, you will wake up like you are. “Sleeping in” consists of not waking up until 7:30. You will view that extra hour as a personal success.

However, since you’re still waking up early and since you still have that practice suit, why stop swimming?

You don’t have to be in the water every day and you don’t have to train for any specific meet or for a race at all, but don’t forget why you love the sport. Don’t forget what it’s like to tighten your arms in a streamline or to come to the wall out of breath.

Swimming isn’t life, but it’s a way of life. And if you’re reading this, it’s probably a part of who you are. Don’t forget that, even if you vow never to wear another racing suit.


  1. Thanasis Agelis

    Μερικά απο αυτα ειναι εντελώς αλήθεια!!!

  2. Ada Clark

    Have to admit used to love swimming and the diving pool, but alas these days are long gone. x

  3. Orla Lynch

    Kyle Cumiskey

  4. Tiare Williams

    Franchesca Pereira Gulliford this speaks the truth 🙂 it will always be a part of who we are

    • Tiare Williams

      Deal! Franchesca just tell me when!

  5. Bonie Borja

    swimming is life for those who took it seriously haha

  6. avatar
    Bill V.

    There’s not much about the sport I miss, frankly. Least of all, the culture. When I see a swimming pool, I don’t think “wouldn’t it be nice to go for a swim” – I think “get me out of here.”

  7. Gabriela Velázquez

    July Perez Cordova,Ivana E. Solis Patiño, Ivana VS, Geronimo Velazquez

  8. Joseph Mou


  9. Jordan Lucas

    Wow… I miss eating everything in sight. Ohoho wait I still do that

  10. Deb Edgar

    Sarah Hornby sitting here , reading this, with wet hair and smelling of chlorine… Lol.

  11. Veronica Ramos

    Si, extrano el olor a cloro y mi cabello mojado en una colita de caballo todo el dia!! 🙁

  12. Reni Rejsi

    Best article ever! <3

  13. Sarah Lunn

    Samantha Rowe

  14. Doaa Ahmed Awad

    Fathima Shaheema last three paragraphs ❤️

    • Fathima Shaheema

      Yesss and these things are so true, man my hair and the chlorine, the weight and food!!

  15. Ramona ReIs

    Thx now i miss swimming again 😀

  16. Parshv Jain

    Swimming gives you abs without any cardio. Not a bad option

  17. Anna Thompson

    Leslie Burch, Anna Linzmeyer

    • Leslie Burch

      Ain’t that the truth!

  18. Robyne Chabant

    57 years old and I still train!! still smell of chlorine, wake up to train at 5am etc!!! I love swimming!! Keeps me young 🙂

  19. Marce Ortega

    Quiero una foto asi Analy Medina, Lara Escalantelara

  20. Cate Bartholomew

    I’m so looking forward to getting back in the pool.