SwimSwam welcomes reader submissions about all topics aquatic, and if it’s well-written and well-thought, we might just post it under our “Shouts from the Stands” series. We don’t necessarily endorse the content of the Shouts from the Stands posts, and the opinions remain those of their authors. If you have thoughts to share, please send [email protected]
This “Shouts from the Stands” submission comes from Samantha Weed:
Swimming is that friend you have been friends with for ages, but if you’re around each other for too long you drive each other nuts.
Swimming is the redheaded stepchild of sports. Athletes love it with all their hearts, but unreasonably can’t stand it at the same time. Spectators think it’s cute every 4 years, but ignore it the rest.
Swimming is hard simply because you don’t want to get into the pool. The sphincter-tightening feeling of that cold water is torturous.
Swimming is a girl’s worst nightmare. Not because you don’t want to be seen in a swimsuit, but because you don’t want to get your hair wet. It’s finally cooperating with you today!
Swimming is a tanning bed on steroids when you’re outside. The tan. is. worth it.
Swimming is religion. Meditation, dedication, following, and lots and lots of prayers.
Swimming at masters swimming for the first time since I had my second baby was great. I didn’t do terribly, but that’s mostly because I went in with no expectations. I wasn’t planning on being great and because of it I surprised myself.
There’s something to that–having no expectations. As goal-oriented people we push goals on ourselves expecting ourselves to accomplish those goals and we–especially I–focus on those goals unrelentingly and maddeningly until we lose sight of what we came for. Accomplishing the goal–or lack thereof–becomes the only way of determining success.
Today I had no expectations. I did pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.
As I got out of the pool, an older teammate asked me if I am going to stick it out this time. He said he’s noticed I’ve been coming and going for some time within the past year. I made a joke about finally being not pregnant–a diversion of my real reason–and mentioned my love-hate relationship with that hole in the ground you call a pool.
He laughed and told me that it took him 20 years to get back into swimming and he wishes it hadn’t. He said he hated swimming after he finished swimming in college. He said his own children hated swimming when they finished swimming in college. He coached for a while, and eventually gave it a try again. It’s a natural process.
He goes every day.
He’s older than my parents.
He’s a lot faster than me.
As we finished talking he told me the only way he gets himself to come every day is that he tells himself he doesn’t have to go hard or go fast. Nothing says you have to.
About Samantha Weed