8 Thoughts Every College Swimmer Has in August

Power Posing:Eric Christian Smith for Kenyon College
Photo Courtesy: Eric Christian Smith for Kenyon College

By Sarah Lloyd, Swimming World College Intern

August is the Sunday of summer–a brief repose after several months of hard training, a well-deserved break after a final summer meet, a chance to hang out with the friends and family that you put on hold during June and July, and yet the college season looms on the horizon, reminding you of grueling doubles on top of a full class load and late nights in the library studying, much like a Monday feels on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Here are a few thoughts that a college swimmer has in August before going back to school:

1. I’m definitely not in shape anymore.

It’s easy to skip a workout–or ten–after a summer of training and competing. Maybe your club team doesn’t even have official practices anymore, so you find yourself on the couch, binging on Netflix. Again. In any case, you’re no longer in peak performance shape anymore and you know how you’re going to feel in the water when you get back to school. Here’s a hint: not good.

2. What happens if we have to RUN during preseason conditioning?!

running-pain-tomasz-dunn

Photo Courtesy: Tomasz D. Dunn

This thought could actually paralyze you. Sure, you may be in great cardiovascular shape because you can crank out miles and miles in the pool, but that doesn’t mean you can run. Nothing makes you cringe more than the thought of hearing your feet loudly slap the pavement as sweat pours down your face and into your eyes and your throat burns from your ragged breaths. If there’s a stationary bike option, you’ll take it.

3. I’m really not ready for doubles on top of class…

Let’s face it. While you’re actually going to class, doing the homework, and attending all of your required training sessions, you don’t think much of it. It’s only when you stop and reflect on what you’ve done does it become daunting. And now that you’ve have a nice cushy summer of training, sleeping, eating, and working an odd summer job, going back to your school year routine looks simply insurmountable. Say goodbye to sleep and your social life!

4. I really can’t wait to see my teammates again!

Haley Anderson celebrates 500 free win with teammates.

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Whether you train with your college team over the summer and you’ve had a few weeks at home or you’ve been away from your best friends since May, you desperately need to be back with your training partners. There’s nothing like suffering through a difficult test set with the people you can count on to make you laugh even when you want to cry. Besides, it’s nice to have friends who won’t judge you when you order two full entrées at Panera. No, you don’t want to make it a U-Pick-2, you’re really going to eat it all and a brownie afterwards, thank you very much.

5. It’s going to be really nice not fighting for lane space with grandmas at the Y anymore.

It’s not that the older women swimming laps at your local Y shouldn’t be swimming laps (more power to them, they try so hard), they just shouldn’t be doing it around you. Getting to swim with your teammates will be a nice change of pace– literally.

6. I won’t have to cook myself breakfast after practice anymore! Or dinner!

bacon-eggs-food-steve-snodgrass

Photo Courtesy: Steve Snodgrass

There’s really nothing better than getting out of practice and knowing that when you get back up to the main campus, the dining hall will have breakfast or dinner ready for you. Say goodbye to the days where you ate a yogurt and a granola bar after a morning practice or a sandwich for dinner because you just couldn’t bring yourself to put in any more effort than bringing the spoon to your mouth. Instead, you can look forward to omelettes cooked to order, pancakes, oatmeal, and bacon. Lots of bacon. And how could you forget never-ending pasta at dinner?

7. Thank goodness we’ll have our locker room back.

There’s really nothing nicer than having a locker room exclusively for the college team and you don’t appreciate it more than when you’re stuck sharing the rec locker room at the local Y with kids in lessons, older women, and all of those age-groupers. Going back to the comforts of your own locker, showers, and bathroom really make you appreciate being a college swimmer. And besides, it’s infinitely cleaner than the one at the Y.

8. My team is the best thing I’ve ever been a part of.

This is cheesy, but it’s true. There’s absolutely nothing more supportive, exciting, and fun than a college swim team. Whether this is your first year on the team or your last, you know how much it means to be a part of this amazing group of swimmers. Through awful conditioning runs and test sets, you don’t really want to be anywhere else because this team is so much bigger than yourself.

4 comments

  1. avatar
    Jeanne

    Wow. Not much on older women swimmers apparently. Here’s the thing- as a former DIII swimmer alumni you don’t want to have to swim with, I’m one of the many women contributing money to your team scholarships and associated costs.

    • avatar
      Sarah Lloyd

      Jeanne,
      That was meant in jest and not to be outright offensive. I apologize.