Why Did You Begin Swimming? The Reasons People Get Involved in the Sport

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Why Did You Begin Swimming? The Reasons People Get Involved in the Sport

By Josie Wise

Most swimmers have a nostalgic, funny, terrifying, or overall unique story of who or what got them in the water as a competitive swimmer for the first time. People often talk about why they swim in the present tense, but why did they ever start swimming in the first place?

The “I’ve Always Loved the Water” People

We all know at least one person who has no trouble knowing that they have belonged in the water since they were born. They grew up near a beach and learned how to swim in the ocean, which naturally translated to a competition pool. Perhaps someone had a pool in their backyard, and their parents could simply never get the floaties and goggles off of them. Sometimes these people will say that they tried other sports, but none ever stuck except for swimming. They chose to be swimmers, and they just never got tired of it.

The Family Legacy

It’s also very normal for someone to begin swimming simply because it runs in the family. Your grandpa tried to convince you for years to do the sport he used to do, and you finally caved and signed up for your local summer league team. Maybe both your parents swam in college, so naturally, you decided to give it a chance. Whoever the relative, and however far they went with the sport, there’s no denying that the familial influence is real.

You Loathed Every Other Sport

Your parents put you in soccer. You hated it. So they put you in basketball. You hated it. You decided to try baseball or softball… and you hated it. Then, finally, the light at the end of the tunnel. One of your friends had been swimming for a while, and because you were all out of options, you let them convince you to give it a try. Finally, you let out a sigh of relief. You loved it.

The Initial Years

Swimming is a sport that many kids get into from a very young age. Therefore, they might not recall the exact moment they began swimming. As far as they know, their parents threw them in the water and they never left. These kids might be more familiar with their initial years in the sport. I’ve heard many stories from friends and teammates about how they never wanted to swim when they were younger. Their parents would have to force them to go to practice, only for them to goof around when they were there and wait in agony for it to be over.

It’s interesting because this is a tale that I’ve heard seniors tell before they go off to swim at college. They ended up making their own decision to swim for another four years. These swimmers are lucky- they were given something, and over time they learned to love it. I think these people have a different kind of appreciation for swimming. At first, it may have been something they had to do, but in the end, they made friends, got faster, and enjoyed it on their own terms.

How Would Your Life Be Different If You Had Never Started Swimming?

Hopefully, you’re currently picturing your story of the beginning of your swimming journey. Dwelling on the past isn’t something we have to do, but it’s useful to appreciate the beginning of great things, whether your story is funny, frustrating, or a little blurry. It could be interesting to wonder what you’re life would be like if you had never swum. Would you be a professional tennis player? Would you have a more active social life? Would your hair be less damaged from chlorine?

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