The Retired Swimmer: 5 Things Missed From the Daily Grind

Jun 22, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Swimmer in warm up pool before the start of the preliminary heats at the George F. Haines International Aquatic Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The Retired Swimmer: 5 Things They Miss From the Daily Grind (From the Swimming World Archive)

By Lauren Williams, Swimming World Intern

I never thought the day would come when I would miss getting in the water. Like many of my former teammates, I waited for the last day of our conference championship meet with glee. Those days approached quickly and I was unprepared for the end. In my life as a retired swimmer, I think about my beloved sport a lot.

Here 5 things I miss every day about swimming:

1. Competing Against a Number

Photo Courtesy: Madison Kyler

Photo Courtesy: Madison Kyler

Every season, I set goal times for the events that I would swim. It made practices a little easier to have something to look to. Along with my teammates, my goals pushed me to be a better. Then the moment comes when you’ve attained that goal. There is almost nothing that beats the feeling of crushing a goal time. When you’re just shy of the time and get over the initial disappointment you can be happy that you aimed for something and went after it wholeheartedly.

2. Satisfaction of Finishing a Tough Set

There is always that set that seems impossible. You dread it, yet your coach busts it out whenever you’re mentally unprepared. In high school, my team was greeted with parametric 200s and parametric 50s every Monday and Thursday, respectively. We needed to complete roughly 20x200s or 40x50s, at race pace. There were so many times I wanted to quit mid-set, but I’m glad that I did not. Nothing beats accomplishing something you thought was impossible.

3. Food, Food and More Food

Swimmers Identity

As a swimmer you’re never afraid to chow down on whatever food is front of you. You pretty much know that you’ll burn the calories off in a matter of hours. Let’s just say I miss eating that extra scoop of pasta.

4. Scheduled Exercise

Winter Training

Photo Courtesy: Kelsey Lynch

When I swam competitively, I knew that six days out of the week there were several hours blocked off for swimming. After 16 years of heading to the pool everyday after school, I miss having that time carved out of my day. It was always the time I used to decompress and think about something other than school. Now, it’s a struggle to find time to hit the gym or the pool.

5. Automatic Workout Buddies

Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming/YouTube

Photo Courtesy: USA Swimming/YouTube

Every day you show up to practice, you’ll always have at least one other person there to push you or pull you through the workout. It’s easy to become frustrated with a challenging set. With your teammates by your side, you have motivation to keep going. Plus you have someone there to vent with, to laugh with and to win with.

Now that my swimming career is over, I admit that I sometimes miss getting up at 5:30 a.m. to jump in a freezing cold pool. I miss the bonding with my teammates and pushing my body beyond what I thought was comfortable with. Cherish your chlorinated days, swimmers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.