Water in the Flesh: If Swimming Were a Person

Photo Courtesy: UNO Swim & DIve

By Isabelle Robuck, Swimming World College Intern.

The quality of our relationships often dictate the quality of our lives, so as athletes, it is important to be aware of how we relate with the thing we spend most of our time and energy on – swimming. The water can almost take on an embodied character in our lives; as we grow and change, our relationship with swimming evolves and teaches us something new about ourselves and the sport. If swimming were a person, how would you interact? Here are five personalities that swimming can mimic throughout your swimming career.

Sometimes, swimming is our parents.


Photo Courtesy: Angela Robuck

Swimming can be our parents constantly watching our every move. Sometimes, we just can’t get them off of our backs! They ask questions, wanting to know where we’re going, what we’re doing, or when we’ll be home. Although it can be too much at times, they only want what’s best for us because they love us. They know our full potential and what we’re truly capable of better than anyone, and they’re hard on us out of love and care. They question us because of their own experiences and what they’ve learned for themselves over time. Although we don’t see their point at first, there comes a point later on in life when we realize the true value behind their actions. Those who were once embarrassing have become our greatest confidantes and believe in us the most.

Sometimes, swimming is our little siblings.


Photo Courtesy: Porapak Apicodilok

Some days, swimming is our annoying little sibling that never leaves us alone. We can’t help but want to rip our hair out! Our siblings follow us around all of the time and ask irrelevant questions. They can get us in trouble with our parents for unknown reasons and cry when we say something just slightly assertive. But sometimes, we actually DO love them for what they are. They look up to us every day and ask questions because they trust our answers to be right. They confide is us to scare away the monsters under their beds at night. When it comes down to it, there’s no greater feeling than our siblings looking up to us throughout life. They add rhythm to our rhyme and meaning to our movement.

Sometimes, swimming is a mean kid.


Photo Courtesy: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Some days, swimming is that mean kid in the hallway that trips you and all of your books. These bullies can become our nightmare – they intimidate and scare us, and they make us cry and scream in anger. Sometimes, it seems there is no end to their torment, and we don’t see much of a light at the end of the tunnel. But when we get past all of the tough times, these people are what make us stronger. When they show their teeth, sometimes it takes us standing up to them to truly show how much they hurt us. We find our bravery through them and learn to be creative in our efforts to grow. In the end, what once caused so much pain is now the answer to a lot of our questions and made us into who we are today.


Photo Courtesy: UNO Swim & Dive

Sometimes, swimming is our best friend.

There’s absolutely no one better than our best friend! They’re our safe haven in this world; our place to let out anger and frustration. They’re our shoulder to cry on when we need it most. We couldn’t live without our closest friends. They know our deepest secrets and biggest insecurities but seal them away safely. They celebrate our greatest victories and comfort us in our toughest troubles. We continue to do what we do with and for them, because without them, we wouldn’t be able to. Plus, just like our best friends, swimming hugs us every time we jump in the water!

Most importantly, swimming is you.


Photo Courtesy: Nitros Swimming

Swimming is you and all that you are. You have the ability to create a passion so wonderful and deep in your very own way without question. You’re the one who creates your swims and race strategy, and you form the memories that will last a lifetime. When it comes down to it, you swim for yourself because of your love for a sport as great as swimming.

Swimming is different for everyone. Who is swimming to you?

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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Michael Watson
Michael Watson
5 years ago

Amazing article !

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