Why do we swim?

Courtesy of Lindsey Fano.

Why do you swim?

This question, that at first glance seems easy enough, actually proves to be a little harder to answer. Maybe you’ve never given it much thought. You swim because you always have, no questions asked. Maybe the question “why do you swim” is a difficult one because it is a constantly evolving answer. It depends on the day. Or maybe the answer is too difficult to contain in a few short words.

What word is sufficient enough to capture your feeling of getting a PR or cheering a teammate to success? Words can’t do those moments justice.

Regardless, the question needs an answer. An answer will provide a meaning behind our training, a method to our madness, a reason to keep going.

For me, I swim to compete, to push my body and mind to limit and then go past that. I swim because staring at the black line is the best form of therapy I know. I can find both mental sanity and insanity in repeating sets of 100s.

I swim for my teammates, my family and my coaches.

Swimming builds a bond that is not easily diminished and I swim because of that. I swim because it keeps me healthy. It makes me strong. I swim because that means I can eat pasta and always claim I’m carb-loading. I am a swimmer because it teaches me more about myself than anything ever has. I value hard work and dedication and that’s why I swim. I swim because I love watching the Olympics and taking pride in saying I’m in the same sport as Missy Franklin. I swim for those moments of success and those “top of the world” feelings on the podium. I swim to win and for the lessons I learn when I lose. Team cheers, relays, and the 100 IM are reasons why I swim. And, most importantly, I swim because it’s my passion. It makes me feel alive and excited and I want to share it with everyone I know. I swim because I love to swim.

What’s your reason?

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Gina Rhinestone

Yesterday I saw an article in the ( UK ) Telegraph .’ Why don’t black children learn to swim’ . I read It & the then 7 comments . Today I re – visited to read the rest of the comments & they had all been wiped off .

Reminded me that the world described in this article is indeed very rare .


When I was coming back from nearly lethal head trauma and trying to get back in the water, I ended up asking myself this exact question. I eventually found my answer about a month into recovery, and it really changed my perspective on the sport and why I cared about it so much.

Point is, this is an extremely valuable exercise, regardless of your own personal motivations – everyone should honestly ask themselves this question at some point.

About Lindsey Fano

Lindsey Fano

Background Lindsey started swimming on a summer club at the age of 6. Despite numerous attempts to persuade her to join a club team, she continued with the same summer league team for 13 years. Until high school, swimming was a small part of her life and she did it mainly …

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