Giving Up: A Few Things We Sacrifice As Swimmers

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Giving Up: A Few Things We Sacrifice As Swimmers

By Evangelia Vasilakis, Swimming World College Intern. 

In the sport of swimming, athletes have full schedules that often are unforgiving in time. They quickly realize how the sport dominates their lives. Most swimmers will dedicate numerous hours per week to the sport, on top of their school schedule, work schedule and social schedule. Many things are sacrificed to remain a swimmer. Here are some common things sacrificed for the sport of swimming.

1. Social Life 

Swimming demands an athlete’s attention every day. Often, we have to tell our friends outside of swimming that age-old excuse for not hanging out: “I can’t. I have swim practice.” This was hard growing up because we felt left out from things in school. We often find it hard to cope with the fact that our swim schedule will never match up to our expectations of hanging out with people outside of our own teammates. 

2. Afterschool Activities

Many swimmers have felt the sadness of missing out on dances, clubs, and afterschool activities. Many swimmers rush to the pool right after school and do not think about the activities that are left behind. We have missed out on plenty of dances because of swim meets and practice. Swimmers know the importance of being in the pool and know to achieve their goals, they have to sacrifice the occasional afterschool activity. 

3. Free time

The one thing often overlooked that is sacrificed is free time. All athletes know the rigorous schedule of class, work and swimming. Many times, a swimmer will go right from one stop to the next. Swimmers often lose their free time because they are squeezing not only their obligations into a tight schedule, but they also have to have time to do homework and eat. These little things all add up so that a swimmer may not have all the free time they want. We tend to overlook that a day only has 24 hours.

4. Sleep

A swimmer may lose sleep because of morning practices. Many clubs, high schools and colleges prefer to have their practices in the morning so their athletes can have more opportunities for double practices or to have some free time. Swimmers tend to adapt to losing out on sleep, managing to work through the day and obligations on less than eight hours. 

Overall, there are so many things a swimmer has to sacrifice for the sport. These things may seem difficult to lose, but they can open up other opportunities. A swimmer might not have time to hang out with friends who do not swim but they have the exact schedule as their teammates! Maybe they cannot do all the fun afterschool things, but they create many amazing memories on the pool deck – at practice and meets. The sacrifices may be many, but they are worth it.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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