Fike Swim, Sometimes You Have to Change Everything

courtesy of James Fike, Founder and CEO of Fike Swim

21 years ago, I finished my college career worse than when I started it, but I knew, down to my bones, that I was capable of more. I tried working harder, but I was still doing the same kind of training. I thought “This works for Olympians and record holders. It must be the right way.” That got me nowhere. For a couple of years I gave up on competing because I could no longer stand that gut punch of seeing slower times on the board after working so hard. When I resumed competition to see if my hard work had finally paid off, I was met with more gut punches.

It took 18 years of failing year in and year out, but I finally found the right path. At the age of 41, I’ve re-qualified for U.S. Nationals in what used to be the worst of my events (200 breast), and with a time five seconds faster than anything I did in college. All I had to do was change everything. I focus on my strengths. I train to swim the fastest 1×100 or 1×200 I can, not to swim a faster 20×100 or 8×200. I stopped worrying about how many yards I swim and focus instead on how I swim each yard. But at 41 it’s harder than it was at 21. There are no cheat days and everything is done with an eye on how it impacts my performance in the pool. That’s the price, but it has been so worth it.

If you want to be the best you can be, at anything, sometimes you have to change everything. Never give up on your dreams, and don’t be afraid to SWIM DIFFERENT!

If you like this article and still want to know more, stay tuned to the Fike Swim:


About Fike Swim

“We design products exclusively for the toughest sport in the world.  We unapologetically place swimmers on a pedestal.  The rigors they embrace on a daily basis can only be understood by another swimmer and they deserve a company focused 100% on helping them succeed.  Whether you’re just starting out or training for Paris, we stand behind you.”
-James Fike, Founder

Fike Swim Products was born when founder James Fike put a brick on top of a kickboard and transformed just another legs-only kick set into a total body workout felt into the next day. Since then it’s been our mission to create unique swim equipment with the single-minded goal of making you faster. We don’t sell toys. We create tools to help you reach your potential.

Fike Swim is a SwimSwam partner.

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28 days ago

Oops, left the comment section on for partner content.

29 days ago

I wonder if he is related to Barney.