39 Thoughts All Swimmers Have During the 200 Butterfly

Foto Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse 04/08/2015 Kazan ( Russia ) Sport 16 Campionati del mondo FINA 2015 - Uomini 200m farfalla nella foto:Chad Le Clos ( Rsa) Photo Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse 04 August 2015 Kazan ( Russian ) Sport 16 Campionati del mondo FINA 2015 - Men's 200m butterfly in the picture:Chad Le Clos ( Rsa)
Photo Courtesy: Fabio Ferrari - LaPresse

By Sophia Chiang, Swimming World College Intern

We’re pretty sure everyone is terrified of the 200 butterfly. Well, except for Michael Phelps, maybe. But let’s just make it clear that Phelps is absolutely the exception and not the rule. Even if you’re a 200 flyer and you swim the event at every single meet, there’s still a very strong love-hate dynamic going on with this event. No, it’s not as long as a 1500 meter freestyle (thank goodness) but it’s certainly no walk in the park either. Non-flyers are terrified of swimming this event, and while you certainly can attest that it’s not that bad, you’re not exactly thrilled to swim that much butterfly either (even if you train for it). Can we have the 50 butterfly back, please?

Although the event is only around two minutes long (possibly less than that if you’re an absolute animal), if you’re anything like me, a lot of thoughts can go through your head in that amount of time…

  1. Okay, it’s only a 200. I do that all the time in practice, right?
  2. Don’t take it out too fast or you’ll die. But definitely don’t take it out too slow. Wait, how do I do that again?
  3. That’s the girl next to me? I need to lift more.
  4. Alright, the heat before me is almost done. I can do this. I think.
  5. GO GO GO!
  6. Under waters, under waters, under waters! Dolphin dolphin dolphin!
  7. Okay, keep your cool.
  8. Hey this doesn’t hurt yet!
  9. I like butterfly a lot when I’m not in pain! I am flying!
  10. That girl is really going for it. I think I might be able to, too?
  11. I think I’m going to get going now.
  12. Okay, now I think I’m going to get going.
  13. Am I going out too fast? We are barely at the 100 mark…
  14. *turns* Oh wow, I definitely went out too fast. This one’s gonna hurt…
  15. HOW IS EVERYONE PICKING UP SPEED?!
  16. Okay, I got this. I have endurance (sort of). I can pick it up too.
  17. FIGHT THROUGH THE PAIN!!!
  18. I definitely need to beat this girl next to me. I can definitely catch her.
  19. Eh, not so sure anymore.
  20. PICK IT UP! YOU CAN DO IT!
  21. H-e-e-e-y, there’s that second wind! Okay, I definitely can do this!
  22. Last 50, here I come!
  23. Is everyone as tired as me?
  24. If everyone’s as tired as me, why aren’t they slowing down?
  25. It’s literally a 50. I do this everyday. Come on, body, pick it up!
  26. My mind says yes but my body says NO.
  27. This is MY. RACE.
  28. I’m going to black out.
  29. Is it normal to lose feeling in my shoulders? No?
  30. Well there go the shoulders. At least they don’t hurt anymore.
  31. Oh, and there go the legs. I think I am just a moving torso now.
  32. I could always stop.
  33. Last 10 meters! Fight through the pain!
  34. DON’T BREATHE, FINISH!
  35. How am I still alive?
  36. I am never doing that again.
  37. Just kidding, coach will make me do it next meet for sure.
  38. I actually love the 200 fly.
  39. That wasn’t so bad. Why was I complaining in the first place?

291 comments

    • avatar
      Alan turner

      He can’t even finish haha

    • Calo Gv

      X q esa cara amor?

    • Karen Robles Murillo

      Calo Gv pfff estaba buscando una carita riendose, no se xq salió esa

    • Calo Gv

      Es una descripción demasiado fiel a la realidad, demasiado

    • Erin Fuss

      11-12-13 beyond true

    • Sita Kusserow

      yes thought the same! ??

  1. Lucas Ribas

    Gabriella Ribas

    • Gabriella Ribas

      “I’m going to black out.”
      HAHAHAHA muito isso!! já passei por cada um deles !

    • Beth Scott

      Not quite Andrew ? because you can slow down your pace of other strokes and your stroke will not fall apart if you do. What make fly so incredibly difficult is the fact that you have to swim it at fast pace in order to swim the stroke. So by the end of of the 200 fly you can’t back down at all or your stoke starts looking more like a drowning victim. You start to feel like your legs are sinking like you will go vertical at any moment. You also feel like there is a grand piano and an elephant on your back the last few strokes into the wall. I have swam the mile, the 800, the 500 and the 400IM and nothing ever really comes close to how it feels to be swimming the last few strokes of the 200 fly.

    • Andrew Spencer Ashby

      I have my opinion and will certainly not read the short story you posted. Have a good day.

    • avatar
      Tyler Holman

      They both sucked when we had to do them Andrew

  2. Erin Hynd

    Alison Hynd I feel this on a spiritual level.

  3. Roger Thompson

    Jessi, does Emma have any of these…hmmm…

  4. Naveh Eldar

    28-31 had me crying! LOL

  5. I haven’t tried butterfly but experience some of these thoughts wen I swim 200 lengths breast stroke lol xx

    • Beth Scott

      Not quite the same Sophia ? because you can slow down your pace of breaststroke and your stroke will not fall apart. What make fly so incredibly difficult is the fact that you have to swim it at fast pace in order to swim the stroke. So by the end of of the 200 fly you can’t back down at all or your stoke starts looking more like a drowning victim. You start to feel like your legs are sinking like you will go vertical at any moment. You also feel like there is a grand piano and an elephant on your back the last few strokes into the wall. I have swam the mile, the 800, the 500 and the 400IM and nothing ever really comes close to how it feels to be swimming the last few strokes of the 200 fly.

  6. Eric Chou

    Tiffany Cheng, I will never understand how you could ever finish this event. Let alone do it multiple times.

    • Tiffany Cheng

      Hahah me neither! I miss those days of being in shape!

  7. Dearbhla Galvin

    Don’t know how you did it Claire Gibbons ?

  8. Claire Turner

    Just read this to my 2 daughters…my youngest (10 year old) did the 200 fly yesterday….she said this is exactly how she felt! ??

  9. Claire Tagg

    Noemie Laura Tony

    • Jo Corben

      Why? That would be my first thought!

    • Claire Tagg

      Jo, that’s what I thought!

  10. Mario Modesto

    Back when I did the 200 for a moment I didn’t know it was me dying. Oxygen deprivation?

    • Andrew Webber

      No. You’re not running out of oxygen, but when you work hard there’s a real need to breathe, mostly to expel the byproducts of your hard work.
      Tried breathing every stroke? Lot of world fly records held by men and women that do.

    • Mario Modesto

      It’s a joke Andrew. I’m 50 and have no intention of competing or suffering. Also I’m a breaststroker. IM was my torture. Thanks though.

  11. Tessa Meyer

    Josie Ledgerwood this is me every time.

    • Katie Maloney

      ???? this is so true!!! ???

  12. Sean Doyle

    Patrick Doyle

  13. Iris Berg

    Miranda Nijenhuis Jan Kersten

    • Iris Berg

      Wat dacht je van 37, volgend jaar moeten jullie gewoon weer! Hahahah

  14. Shannon Richardson

    I can only do 50 fly. I can’t even imagine 200 fly.

    • Beth Scott

      Don’t imagine it, as it will mess you up. lol

    • Lauren O

      Wayy too accurate apart from the “that wasn’t so bad” at the end? I don’t think that thought has EVER crpssed my mind after a 200fly!!

  15. Lukas Lindstrøm

    Rune Friis Petersen know the struggles ?

    • Lukas Lindstrøm

      Det iværtfald lang tid siden jeg sidst har tænkt sådan ?

  16. Heather Guyett-Smith

    Cayden does say why would anyone do 200 fly. Collette loves it!

  17. Ri Cooper

    I think Cayden has a point

  18. Tiernan Keane

    Maddy Ryan I think you’d enjoy reading this

  19. Brenda Osterman Ray

    The 200 fly and 1650 are my daughter’s favorite events and have been for the last 10 years-6 days a week. She loves them!

  20. Lena Baumann

    Igor Ciriviri freu dich drauf

  21. Nadine Hunkert

    Andrea Hunkert das dürfte dir bekannt vorkommen 😉

    • Oliver Frøsig

      Haha nr 39 gør jeg altid

      Og overvejer næsten også altid at stoppe

  22. Adája Stoetman

    Kristel Hormann Cynthia van Beusekom Karen Stolk

  23. Menna Tarek Elmallawany

    The only thought that I had when I did the 100 fly
    Was either why the hell did I do it or that I am dieing

  24. Fil AL Ch

    Ujala Abid

    • Sylvana Kusters

      Hahahaha echt wel, nummer 2 en 6 en 27 en nog veel meer ? en vooral 36 en 37 hebben we aan Robbert Donk te danken?

  25. Shaylyne R. Fisher

    Hollye Blekestad I think these just swimming the 100 fly

    • Denise Johnson Nohner

      I did a 400 fly in practice once. Coach said we were all slacking and i disagreed with her. She told me to do a 400 fly, and i did it. And she told me i was a rock star afterwards. The 200 fly and 200 back were my faves, totally.

    • Emil Pandrup

      Det værste er at det faktisk er helt rigtigt med næsten alle ting?

  26. Amy E White

    Hahha Bruce Baird

  27. Lisa Weir

    Deneka Weir

  28. avatar
    flutterby

    In my last college meet, coach put me in the 200 fly. I had never swum the event and hadn’t even been swimming fly in workouts. My second hundred was over 30 seconds slower than my first. But I finished.

    Years later as a masters swimmer, I decided to swim the 200 fly at every meet to “atone” for my college swim. Once I even swam three 200 flys back to back in a workout. I did manage to finally swim the 200 fly with only 10 seconds different between the two 100s. Now when friends try to get me to enter open water races, I tell them that I’ll enter an open water race after they swim the 200 fly. No one has ever taken me up on that.

  29. Jacqui Adams

    Lewis Adams number 29

  30. Keiron Goltz

    Brandon Mutch Tom Schmidt me in the 50

  31. William Saldaña

    Louis Choron Lauren Alff Harry Kilbane Tom Conte Leon Shaw

  32. Anna Pearce

    Sam Turtle Rose

  33. Da Niel

    Lara Kle

    • Da Niel

      Jan HasenpuschFabian Kemeny

  34. Alyssa Martinez

    Rachael Caitlin McKay I thought it was just going to say “I’m dying” and “I’m dead” 39 times

  35. Lisa Updyke

    Read this to my 16 year old butterfler. She totally agreed!

  36. Salome Mariner Borg

    Any of these go through your head Olivia Jennifer? Lol Charlie Borg

    • Meghan Miller

      “I think I am just a moving torso now”???

    • Kayley Chevalier

      “I could always stop” this was me every single time

    • Cameron Bosch

      Hahahaha…had a good laugh now. Spot on! ?

  37. Jacob Turner

    That last lap always Burns

  38. Kristen Spremullo

    My number one thought was ALWAYS “Why does this have to be my best event?!” ?

  39. Bill Reeder

    This does happen, every time in 200 fly… No idea how the author remembered them all

  40. David Sutherland

    Rachael Keir Laura Robertson will this be you pair this weekend ?

  41. Amanda Moser

    Mallory Behr Miriam Himelstein Janae Brown

  42. Eileen Kees

    Very true! I remember thinking and feeling these same thoughts…..one more thought…..if I can swim sets of 400yd fly I can surely swim this 200.

  43. Kenley Shroyer

    When I survived this race I never ever ever said “I love 200 fly”. #breaststroker

  44. Erinn Como

    Rebecca Como – you definitely don’t think 38 and 39. Lol

  45. Xavier Gonzalez

    Should have gone for breast stroke!

    • Lucie Lundenberg

      all accurate except i have never said “i love 200 fly”

    • MariesSandr Belanger

      Wowww tellement ce qui me manque le moins mais le plus

  46. April Michelle

    Kristen Nathalie Brian Duncan Shanna Jocelyn Loren Dale Chris

    • Damon Rodd

      Reckon I had every single one Han !!

  47. Barry Nilson

    I’d like to know how many alleged “best athletes in the world” NFL players could swim a mere 25 yards of butterfly??

  48. Barry Nilson

    I’d like to know how many alleged “best athletes in the world” NFL players could swim a mere 25 yards of butterfly??

  49. Malcolm Stringer

    THE 1500 M FREESTYLE IS MUCH WORSE THAN THE 200M FLY!

    • Beth Scott

      Not quite the ? because you can slow down your pace of other strokes and your stroke will not fall apart if you do. What make fly so incredibly difficult is the fact that you have to swim it at fast pace in order to swim the stroke. So by the end of of the 200 fly you can’t back down at all or your stoke starts looking more like a drowning victim. You start to feel like your legs are sinking like you will go vertical at any moment. You also feel like there is a grand piano and an elephant on your back the last few strokes into the wall. I have swam the mile, the 800, the 500 and the 400IM and nothing ever really comes close to how it feels to be swimming the last few strokes of the 200 fly.

    • Malcolm Stringer

      I GUESS I HAVE TOO MUCH FAT ON ME. I SWIM IT SLOW.

    • David Broadbent

      200 Fly is worse, I swim both events and the only event worse than the 200 Fly is 400IM. I really hate how they are my best events ?

  50. Corinne Harden Podawiltz

    I see you left this list of thoughts to the less ‘colorful’ ones, & not the more ’emphatic’ ones that also sneak in quite often! LOL!!

    • Ashlea Jade

      ??? had all those thoughts before

  51. Mark Boensel

    Been there, done that …

    • Chris Boensel

      Absolutely! There are probably another 5 not listed and those are laced with expletives.

  52. Tracey Jones

    Bella Jones for Brooke

  53. Melanie DelGado

    Marissa DelGado. Wanna add anything ?

  54. Devon Clifford

    Jaimie Monahant Talbott Crowell

  55. Kailie Arb

    Melissa Nicole Jordan!

  56. Kobie Markham

    Rebecca Leigh Carlson show this to bella

    • Carol Ross

      Hahahha I believe you!!

  57. Dylan Powell

    Charles Salvatore Nanfria

  58. Chew Yiwennona

    Oh I still feel it… So true…?

    • Clare McPhillips

      So true! And now that all goes through my head if I do 25m when I do some laps!

  59. Alex Robinson

    Sam Carpenter actual truth right there ??

  60. Theo Laleian

    Alex Laleian Colin Williams

  61. Celina Basalo

    These don’t apply if you have ‘trained’ for the 200 fly.

    • Beth Scott

      No it still hurts but not as much.

  62. Dee Sheffrin

    Caroline Clarkson, Murray Burns

    • Nicole Evans

      Except you do actually die

  63. Eli Dimitrova

    Lisa Cooke haha thats me when i did the 200 Fly for the first time ?this is so true ?????

    • Rebecca McConnell

      Hahaha this is actually quite accurate ??

  64. Henry Offin

    Tom Irwin “go sub 3”

  65. Lee Morgan

    Fanciful and trite. Most of these thoughts indicate lack of preparation.

    • avatar
      Andy

      Not really. Lack of these thoughts would indicate a lack of effort in the race.

  66. Jenny Miller

    Georgia Miller Briella Brown

  67. Remi Neeno

    Banah-Jena Fakhoury
    Sandy Zureik
    Carole Zureik

  68. Kara Walsh

    Christine Joyce Wasilewski

  69. Brett Davidson

    Missing the thought that everyone in the stands must be chewing a wasp watching me go nowhere….

  70. avatar
    Andy

    Can’t be a fan of any butterfly article that does not reference the bastard who drops the piano on your back as you’re trying to bring it home.

  71. Alexander B Gallant

    I am still working on 25 fly. Swimming is stoking and breathing. Good technique is essential

  72. David Samuelsohn

    As a sage, veteran coach who has worked with athletes at every level, I can tell you: The 200 Fly is an intelligence test – if you enter, you fail. 🙂

    • Beth Scott

      Yes. But I always loved Butterfly no hate! It’s the most beautiful , powerful stroke and I miss being able to swim it.

    • Scoutt Sue

      Serious love hate

  73. Betsy Bovich

    Joanne Donovan Bovich for Stuart Bovich

  74. avatar
    Jim Spellman

    I have a friend that was a very good 100 Butterflier, but when he swam the 200, almost anything could happen.
    In a college league championship meet, he looked good for 150 but could not finish it.
    He had to kick in ( without stroking) the last 5 yards!!!!
    It was the most hysterically funny thing I ever saw and the story is still told close to 40 years later!!!!

    • Griffin Miller

      Given how slow mine is I definitely have more than 39 thoughts go through my head but these are definitely some of them

  75. Eddie Escobar

    The number one thought during the 200 butterfly: WHY THE F DID I AGREE TO DO THIS? !?!?!

  76. Jean Ramadani

    De bons souvenirs, n’est-ce pas Katy?

  77. Kelly Spillane-Call

    Danielle Bright Schoolcraft Jeff Schoolcraft show K

  78. Bea Fuentes

    I’ve been swimming the 50 fly & the struggle is real especially when you’re 43 years old & back in the pool after a 10 year hiatus

    • Amie Krueger

      I’ve been saying all of these for 5 1/2 weeks now!!! But this is actually what I have to say when I swim backstroke ?
      I’d rather swim Butterfly all day! Ha! ??❤️?

  79. Louise Marie

    So true!!! Keep going back for more cam!!

  80. Felix Olbertz

    Daniel Heringer, Lena Brunk. So war das damals

    • Daniel Heringer

      ?? den swimming torso Part kenn ich sehr gut ?

    • Lena Brunk

      HahaHaha ich hab das Gefühl so motiviert war ich dabei nie 😀 spätestens nach 100 dachte ich mir nur tschüssss

  81. Nuria Sacchetti

    Iwie chani entspannend ni finge Alisha Uhlmann

  82. Fran Ziska

    Anna- Katharina Poddig gut dass ich nie in die Verlegenheit gekommen bin ?

  83. Julianna Foss

    Emily Andrews #2 and #13

  84. Katherine Kerr Gleason

    Lol. I only ever had one thought during the 200 fly. PLEASE never make me do this again!!!

  85. avatar
    Joe Hillstrom

    I have swum fly for many years and I have the VersiStyle Swim Challenge where one has to swim inside of one month 25,50,100,200,400,800 and 1500m of each stroke Having done that you qualify to swim the Super VersiStyle Challenge. This is swimming 4×25,4×50,4×100,4×200,4×400,4×800 and 4x1500m Individual medleys. I have many swimmers in East London South Africa who have achieved this challenge. Am on Facebook

  86. Rony Daher

    Jorge Suárez Hernan Campos Zapata???

  87. Leslie Jane Keenan

    This is so what Alyssa’s thinking through her 200 fly!!!

    • Petra Zahrl

      #22 I thought each race!

  88. Karen Hanson Denker

    I despised this event! Only swam it once in a meet. Then became a backstroker.

    • Lori Terzopoulos

      I swam it twice in college. Best shape of my life and it still was the most painful event ever

  89. Luna Kim

    Bryson Baligad Corinne Lythgoe Sydney Bishoff

    • Luna Kim

      (me in the 200 back) especially 38 and 39 lol