The 29 Confessions of a Distance Swimmer

counting_counter_distance_uvm_vermont
Photo Courtesy: Brian Jenkins-UVM Athletics

The 29 Confessions of a Distance Swimmer – From the Archives

By Chandler Brandes

“I didn’t choose the distance life. The distance life chose me.”

Well, not quite.

Distance swimmers are all born the same way: we swam the 500 for the first time around age nine or 10 and didn’t do too badly, so our coaches put us in it again at the next meet.

Then again.

And again.

And before we knew it, we were swimming the 1000. Then the dreaded day came when we had to swim the 1650.

And here we are, many years later, still staring at the bottom of the pool, anxiously waiting for the red blocks to appear.

Here are 29 confessions all distance swimmers have:

1. You wish you were a sprinter. Every. Single. Day.

2. You can guess your splits correctly―to the tenth.

2016 olympic swimming qualifying times

Photo Courtesy: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

3. You have a different pair of goggles you use when racing the 500, which are obviously different than the ones for the 1650.

4. Brackets around sets don’t phase you anymore.

5. You hate when your coach thinks you can swim the 400 IM because you have “endurance.”

6. You secretly have at least one teammate who you will never, ever let count for you.

count_distance_uvm_vermont_counter

Photo Courtesy: Brian Jenkins-UVM Athletics

7. You genuinely have no idea what stroke to do when a set says “no freestyle.”

8. You contemplate stopping at least 66 times during the mile.

9. You secretly like training trip because it means long course.

10. You wonder what it would be like to be Katie Ledecky nearly every practice.

FINA World Championships Katie Ledecky

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

11. The thought of all the food you’ll eat after practice is sometimes the only thing that gets you out of bed.

12. Your ideal race plan includes using the first 600 as your warmup.

13. It means so much to you when you see your teammates cheer for you the entire race…

14. …except on the first lap, because no one can be THAT excited with 65 laps to go.

counting_counter_distance_america_east_uvm_vermont

Photo Courtesy: Christa Weaver

15. You seriously consider getting out and slapping your counter each time they shake the numbers.

16. You quietly (or loudly) curse the person who thought it would be a good idea to race anything over a 100.

17. You have separate playlists for the 500, 1000, and 1650.

18. You purposely breathe to the side your coach isn’t standing on.

cheering-coach-2016-cerave-invite

Photo Courtesy: Taylor Brien

19. You wish there was a 4×500 relay, but then realize how awful that would actually be.

20. You’re thankful that your start has no impact on your races.

21. You often think about all the yardage that you’ve skipped because, even after all these years, you still can’t count correctly.

22. You cry into your goggles almost every practice, but no one notices because your eyes dry long before the set is even halfway done.

freestyle_practice_training_uvm_vermont

Photo Courtesy: Christa Weaver

23. You consider writing complaint letters to broadcast stations for cutting to commercials during distance races.

24. The red blocks are the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.

25. During long sets, you only have the single most annoying verse of a song stuck in your head.

26. You believe that hearing the bell is the equivalent of angels singing.

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

Photo Courtesy: Hayley Good

27. You’ve mastered flip turning and pulling down your cap simultaneously.

28. You don’t want to be at the distance session just as much as everyone else doesn’t.

29. You love when people ask in amazement, “You swim all those laps…at once?”

Even though our hearts may be in the 50, we’ll forever be entered in the 1650.

Subscribe
Notify of
avatar
103 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
avatar
5 years ago

Counting the laps you swam…

avatar

#15 was thought of more than once…

avatar

#15 was thought of more than once…

avatar
5 years ago

20 and 21 i SOOOO identify with

avatar
Brinson Hubbard
5 years ago

#15 Especially when your counter puts the same number in twice…

avatar
Nivaldo
5 years ago

BS…I love to swim 1,500 meters every day of the week and wouldn’t change it for anything…

avatar
5 years ago

So true. I am an aspiring distance swimmer and I would never had considered it in my wildest dreams.

avatar
5 years ago

Regan Nolan my fave distance training partner

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Sydney Brault

this is so spot on, couldn’t have made it through w/o you ? what am I going to do next year

avatar
5 years ago

#18 is very correct. Until coaches work both sides of the pool.

avatar
5 years ago

Omg sooo true….and funny….

avatar
5 years ago

I like:27. You’ve mastered flip turning and pulling down your cap simultaneously. Lol so true!!!

avatar
5 years ago

Cathleen Pruden ik youve already seen this but damn

avatar
5 years ago

Maybe 1 or 2 are true

avatar
5 years ago

23 for sure

avatar
5 years ago

Alex Foisy ce sont mes confessions :p

avatar
5 years ago

#7 true af

avatar
5 years ago

Seriously though… The one song verse… The entire time

avatar
5 years ago

Mackenzie Finkbeiner #1 and #18

avatar
5 years ago

Wow yes, amazing.

avatar
5 years ago

Brittany Archer

avatar
5 years ago

Cricket@bailee

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Matteo Zullo

nvm bailee blocked me on fb

avatar
5 years ago

Cecilia Langle Pamela Acosta B

avatar
5 years ago

Rosalie Davidson

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Mia Desjarlais

C’est tlm ça en plus?

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Mia Desjarlais

Oui hahah

avatar
Reply to  Mia Desjarlais

Cest parfait comme article !

avatar
5 years ago

Malavika Vishwanath hahaha??ha.ha.ha????

avatar
5 years ago

ALL OF THESE ARE SO ACCURATE OMG

avatar
5 years ago

Number 7 tho?✌

avatar
5 years ago

And 12,18,20 and 21 ????

avatar
5 years ago

?????

avatar
5 years ago

Dean Wilson Jesse Collins ???

avatar
5 years ago

Linda Fox

avatar
5 years ago

Masha Baldwin

avatar
5 years ago

Marianne Rhéaume Justine Rhéaume

avatar
5 years ago

Hahahahaha 10

avatar
5 years ago

Alexandra Morris

avatar
5 years ago

These are almost all me, I can’t with the accuracy ?

avatar
5 years ago

Pragati Gupta

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Proteeti Sinha

7 and 29 are SO true omg

avatar
5 years ago

Jonathan Ko

avatar
5 years ago

Rachael Elkaim Tori Gorman.

avatar
5 years ago

Justine Laprise ?

avatar
5 years ago

Ahahah moi ??

avatar
5 years ago

?❤

avatar
5 years ago

Cassidy Heaton

avatar
5 years ago

Cody Cole

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Angel Williams

Soooooooo trueeeeeeeeeee

avatar
5 years ago

Rana Ayman

avatar
5 years ago

Claire Elizabeth

avatar
5 years ago

Eva Gerstle

avatar
5 years ago

Alex Marie Frazier

avatar
5 years ago

Samuel Rutley Jesse Goodyear Boo Waters Charlie Cox Sam Harris Rebekah Sefton

avatar
5 years ago

5 ?

avatar
5 years ago

Cherelle Oestringer so accurate ? Starts perfectly with #1

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Liess

Omg yes??

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Liess

Cherelle Oestringer nr14, 18, 27….

avatar
5 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Liess

Annelies Maas ??

avatar
5 years ago

Totally agree with no 23

avatar
5 years ago

Stoyan

avatar
5 years ago

PJ Ransford true?? Sharlene Ransford Mike Ransford

avatar
Leander
5 years ago

Thinking about stopping 66 times during the race? Really? I usually don’t start thinking about that into I’m at least 1100 yards into the race and then it’s only a few times, not 66.

As to 23, at least you can watch the entire 1500 at the Olympics on the internet now; NBC usually skipped the entire race.

avatar
5 years ago

Enjoyed this. Laps counting, red blocks, tumble turns, starting times…. Long distance did choose me…..

avatar

Anika Paterson

avatar
5 years ago

thats meeee!!

avatar

Hahahahha

avatar
5 years ago

Rebecca Treloar Kiessling

avatar
5 years ago

Alonso Mati Perez ?? La 1,2,4,7,8,10,11,13,16-20,25,26,27,28 jajajajaj en especial la 8 y 26

avatar

Ellen Wales 18 & 20… so you

avatar
1 year ago

Jessica Middleton Newman

103
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x