Courtesy: Donna Hale
About five to six years ago, my daughter started to practice more and more at 4:45 in the morning. In the area we live, swimming is popular and pool space is sparse. To reach higher levels in the sport and do doubles, it was what you had to do.
She and her pals coined the phrase “Crazy Love.” Swimming was their “Crazy Love.” What I’ve discovered on this amazing journey with her is just how right they were and still are. To become a leader in this sport and to inspire others to pursue the dream, swimming needs athletes with a “Crazy Love.”
Here are five traits you will see in swimmers with “Crazy Love.”
1. They don’t give up – ever. Sometimes they suffer through injury, illness, swim drama and bad seasons. While others give up, those with that love push on. And on. They are part chlorine, part stubborn, but mostly just resilient role models who make their teammates, competitors, and coaches better.
2. Their work ethic is rock solid. Swimming is not for the faint of heart. There is no real off season. You swim in the mornings and the afternoons. You lift weights. Then for fun, you run a few miles. And, they find pools wherever they go. Somewhere in our GPS are pools everywhere you can imagine. After all what other sport can literally take your breath away and that be a good thing?
3. They are the absolute best teammates you’ll ever know. Crazy love swimmers expect dedication. And they celebrate the success of everyone around them both in winning and losing. They are not jealous. They don’t play games. And they have a low tolerance for those who do.
4. They lead by the example they set in the pool and the community. If you have a bad race or need a shoulder, go find one of the crazy love swimmers on your team. They will remind you that it is one race. A simple moment in time. It does not define you. What defines you is what you do next. You cool down. Drink some water. And you cheer for the next races. What also defines you is giving back to the community and to the sport. It is the price you pay for the pure joy you know.
5. Crazy love swimmers shine. If you look closely when they race you spot them – with a determined look, a competitive spirit and a burning desire to swim faster and be better. It is literally plastered on their water-logged faces. You know instantly that they love swimming. As my swimmer says, when you reach that point, swimming is a part of you in a deeper way than when you are simply a part of swimming. They make the sport fun, exhilarating and an amazing adventure.
The sport shines brighter because of those rare athletes with “Crazy Love!”
About Donna Hale
Donna Hale has been swim mom for 16 years. Her daughter swims for Davis & Elkins College.