Kyle Chalmers Working on Construction Site Two Days a Week for Mental Health

In an interview with the SEN SA Breakfast radio show on Thursday, Australian Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers revealed that his “body has never felt better” and credited working at a construction site two days a week for helping him find balance outside of the pool this year.

“This year, my body has never felt better, which is definitely helping my mind,” said Chalmers, who has undergone multiple heart and shoulder surgeries at the age of 24. “I’d say I’m in the happiest spot I’ve been in quite some time. So I’m really excited for the next 12 months. We have the World Championships to get through first in Japan in a month’s time, and then the focus will be on all things Paris.

“For me, I’m laboring on a building site two days a week, which is just something away from the pool for my mental health — something different, different stimulus, different dudes,” he added. “I’m absolutely loving that, and reconnecting with those friends and family members that I haven’t had a heap to do with over the period. Obviously swimming is a massively intense sport where we train 50 hours a week, 50 weeks of the year. So the hours I’m not in the pool, I’m kind of at home sleeping and napping and preparing for the next training session. Or I’m interstate — last year I think I only spent eight weeks in Adelaide.”

It was less than a year ago that Chalmers threatened to quit swimming altogether after a media frenzy surrounding his relationship with fellow Aussie Olympian Emma McKeon and new beau Cody Simpson dominated the conversation at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Now Chalmers seems to have gained a fresh perspective on the sport by reconnecting with his roots.

“For me, I’ve really prioritized my friendships and my family this year, which I think has massively impacted me and helped me be a whole lot happier in the pool, which is making me swim fast again and love it,” Chalmers said. “I think those are the keys, and just being true to myself and being who I am. I’ve tried to transfer that across into my social media this year and show people a little more of the authentic Kyle, who I really am instead of just Kyle Chalmers, the robotic swimmer.”

Chalmers also shared how he has struggled with the individual aspect of swimming after growing up playing and cheering for team sports such as basketball and Australian rules football.

“I think my best swims I’ve ever had have always been in relays because I just love that team environment — being in the room with three other guys, the build-up to the race, doing it for each other rather than just myself,” he said. “I’m able to find that little that I’m not able to at times in individual races. I think it’s that upbringing from football and basketball and other team sports as a kid has made me thrive in those opportunities and in those races.”

The discussion featured some lighter moments, too. When the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19 was brought up, Chalmers said the first thing he thought of was the NBA season’s cancellation and how it affected his fantasy basketball team.

“The first thing that sprung to my mind when you said the Games were postponed, I instantly thought about the NBA being postponed and how much it impacted my fantasy basketball team,” he laughed. “I completely forgot about the Olympics being postponed.”

Toward the end of the interview, Chalmers admitted that he should probably stop getting so many tattoos, but he just can’t help himself, especially given how convenient it is.

“Realistically, I think I probably need to stop,” he said. “I think I’ve unfortunately gotten addicted to it. I never saw myself as a person who would get tattoos and be covered in tattoos. I think it’s more something my brother and I bond over and having a best mate who is a tattoo artist causes me to go in there quite often.”

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Come on man
8 months ago

I like how pro swimmers and athletes are like yeah i train 50 hrs a week, mostly naps and playing video games

Dayton resident
8 months ago

Oh, that’s funny. I’d like to take time off from my construction job and swim for my mental health!

beach bumjason
8 months ago

Hopefully him or Dressell can win and retain the WR record in 100 free. They were both fighting over and over again and getting close numerous occasions for years and years to the record and then someone comes out of “nowhere’ and then gets the record.

I know lots of people on this this are into the “next big” thing but I have admiration and respect for the “vets” in the pool that have fought wars and rather them have the “glory” then the next upcoming person.

Seth
8 months ago

Maybe construction work is the new relaxing activity. In America our roads can have potholes and damage, we could use some swimmers completing maintenance.

Ol' Longhorn
8 months ago

MA: “Construction work? Dude, get yourself a rapper gig.”

SwimObs
8 months ago

He could also use his time and study for a degree. Distracts from swimming and helps his career after swimming

Sub13
Reply to  SwimObs
8 months ago

He doesn’t seem like the degree type tbh.

And in Australia tradies are making absolute bank while university graduates are drowning in debt and not even being paid well. His tradie time is probably better for his future than study would be.

Come on man
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Same in USA

Torchbearer
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

Also study is a cerebral activity- he just needs a plodding job to clear his head.

flicker
Reply to  Sub13
8 months ago

imagine Kyle being the one with the science degree and Cam McEvoy as a tradie

commonwombat
Reply to  SwimObs
8 months ago

Such a move would make some sense IF he were academically inclined and/or his post-swimming goals require/would be significantly aided by doing so. It would appear that this is not the case with him.

IF his post swimming career DOES lead down the tradie route then it will most likely be the case that he will need to seek the requisite trade qualifications on top of his on-the-job experience. There’s certainly good $$$ to be made if you make the grade.

Sven
8 months ago

Training 50 hours per week? I get the point, elite athletes work hard, but someone explain the math on this one.

Ragnar
Reply to  Sven
8 months ago

Probably during a day, 5 total hours of pool/gym time, a couple hours of prehab/rehab, and meetings with brands/sponsors/interviewers

Last edited 8 months ago by Ragnar
sven
Reply to  Ragnar
8 months ago

Meetings are work, but they aren’t training.

I’m fine counting rehab/prehab/active recovery. Naps and massage, no way. I’m seeing like 30 hours of training per week. Still considerable and respectable, no need for them to inflate things. By my math 30 hours meets and exceeds the 150 minute minimum per week of vigorous activity recommended here in the US so I am proud of him just the way he is.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Sven
8 months ago

Includes nap time. Filed under “recovery.”

Torchbearer
8 months ago

I live near his training pool, will look out for him on building sites now!!!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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