SwimSwam Podcast: BJ Bedford Shares Thoughts on the Weight of Gold

On SwimSwam Podcast, we’re giving you an in-depth listen at all things swimming. Host Coleman Hodges welcomes guests and guest co-hosts alike to get perspective on our ever-changing swimming universe and break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with Olympic champion BJ Bedford, who gave a very candid and insightful look at what goes on behind the curtain of an elite athlete’s life. We often look at our role models as perfect people with perfect lives and can easily forget that they, just like us, are human. They have flaws, physical and emotional baggage, and families that aren’t perfect just like us. BJ dives into her personal story and how it affected her experience on the elite stage.

Music: Otis McDonald
www.otismacmusic.com

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Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

BJ ALWAYS appreciated your energy and passion! Best wishes

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

<3 Thank you! Loving life here and now as an “adult”
Much love!

Jeanne Fleck
1 year ago

BJ thank you so much you and Mel have powerful stories and it will help so many young athletes! You are a wonderful person and friend!

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Jeanne Fleck
1 year ago

Jeanne, I just love you to death. Thank you for always supporting me even without knowing the crazy that was behind the scenes. <3

H2Opinion
1 year ago

That Peddie squad was incredible. Wish I could have trained with them.

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  H2Opinion
1 year ago

It was one of the best things I ever had the honor to live through. And I mean that retroactively, because in the moment there were some really awful days of training 20k yds and 3 hour straight swims with shoes on. I cried a lot. But I came out of it knowing that anything was possible.

Corn Pop
1 year ago

I don’t have 37 mins . Is there 3 points that anyone thinks I should know ? I’m ok with 0 also.

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Corn Pop
1 year ago

Hmm.

  1. We all hide things.
  2. My father was in jail while I was at the Olympics
  3. On TV, you only see the happy mountain top of the iceberg. I wasn’t alone in coming from dysfunction – many of us on the elite stage were running from who we were or did/didn’t get in our lives.
Sean Justice
1 year ago

Talk about hard practices brought back the memories of the heart rate monitors and those test sets!!!

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Sean Justice
1 year ago

OMG the little heart rate thing with the sponge on it. Highest mine ever got was like 182. There were some over 200, but I could never get there. Ohhh the test sets. I thought I had blocked them out, Sean..

Kevin A. Thornton
1 year ago

BJ – Thanks for sharing! Who knew? I hope you are at peace with your journey. As I recall, from the NE years and the Florida years, you certainly 1) entertained us both athletically and personally 2) you had a way of being you – and the younger swimmers were watching in awe. I, for one, appreciated following your path and was very happy for you at all junctures.

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Kevin A. Thornton
1 year ago

Thanks Kev – we had some crazy days. Hope I helped some of those kiddos feel like they could be themselves. I never really had a choice. Me was all you got!!!

Darryl Baker
1 year ago

Good to see you Beej. I’m glad they asked you to do this. You are always real and I love you for it. Can’t wait to see you again (another random city perhaps?). Cheers. Oh…love the drums btw.

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Darryl Baker
1 year ago

Thanks Darryl – of course the drums are Tom’s… lol
Waiting for you to come and hang with us and play them!

Swim Fan
1 year ago

My favorite podcast by far, thanks for sharing your story BJ. I’m sure there are swimmers out there who have things going on who will absolutely benefit from hearing your story of resilience.

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Swim Fan
1 year ago

That is for sure the hope. It happened 20+ years ago, and I’d be lying if I said I was really comfortable talking about it in a public setting. But if we don’t share the hard stuff, it’ll just look like we have it together all the time, and we just don’t. We’re all out there fighting, doing the best we can. Being a parent is like that too!! I’m grateful for all of it, but some of it was REALLY hard. Thank you for the props – I appreciate it!

Austinpoolboy
Reply to  BJ Bedford Miller
1 year ago

That was the best podcast ever! I was enthralled. That took courage to share. And Mel, what a great sensitive interview. I may or may not have been aware of your family backstory, but you laid it out there a bit too.

It does seem that many great swimmers (and other athletes) do have some sort demon driving them. The pain and sacrifice to get to that level is not normal, but y’all channeled your feelings into a process that allowed you to shine.

Both of you have a lot to be proud of, and inspiring for me.

Xoxxo

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 year ago

Thank you so much – sometimes the tough stuff is the stuff that makes a difference. That’s why we’re swimmers, right!?

Ghost
Reply to  Swim Fan
1 year ago

Totally agree…best podcast yet for me!

BJ Bedford Miller
Reply to  Ghost
1 year ago

Thank you!

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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