Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bittersweet Breakup

SOoo I have been swimming for like my entire life besides when I was a fetus.
The only way I can describe my relationship with swimming (yes, relationship) is to say it's one of those "love/hate" type of things.
I have always loved swimming, racing, competing, and being part of a team.
But at the same has been a major sacrifice and I sometimes wonder why I decided to put myself through it.
Why couldn't I be like...a tap dancer or something?
Aren't there less chemicals on a stage or field or court?
Here is an abridged version of what my life has consisted of for the past 15ish years because I couldn't figure out how to write it in a paragraph:
waking up at 5:30am.
scraping snow off car while the moon is still out.
lifting weights (not like...a few curls with some cute 10lb we're talking like some manly stuff here).
diving into a vat of freezing chlorinated water...which results in awkward chlorine smelling sweat throughout the day.
swimming 4 hours a day..back and and slow...blah blah blah.
only having hair on my head (which feels like straw) and legs bc the rest gets burned off by chlorine.
plz don't ask about the hairy legs thing.
And constant soreness in all muscles, but especially in the shoulder region--I can remember some workouts leaving me so sore that lifting my arms up for a bottle of Ibuprofen wasn't an option.
Why would I choose this seemingly miserable path?
Why would I choose a life like this you ask?
Wouldn't it have been so much more fun in my high school/early college years to stay out late every night partying and sleeping in every morning to my heart's content?
But there's something that has kept me coming back to the pool day in and day out....stroke after endless painful stroke.
So as I approach an epic break-up from this lifelong, sickly twisted relationship, I've realized a few things (this post was inspired by my last two home meets at BYU this weekend)...
My life spent in the swimming pool hasn't been defined by races I've won or lost, best times and records, awards or recognition.
What I will remember from this journey are the lessons I've learned about myself and how I know my strength and weaknesses, the lasting relationships I've made with teammates and competitors, and the value of working hard at something you really want.

I am also realizing that for the rest of my life I will never be in as good of physical shape I am currently in.

That is depressing.

With only about 4 weeks left until swimming and I call it quits I'm trying to think of the right thing to say to make it a clean break...
I'm thinking something like, "It's not you, it's me"
or maybe
"I just need to move on"
What do you think?
After that I will join the ranks of the "Swammers"
(those who swam).


  1. Move on. Get in the water every now and then. Stay active. Remember what you learned, but this is a healthy breakup. It will be super hard. Trust me. But enjoy other activities and find a new athletic hobby you love.

    And I love the pic of us. So fetch.

  2. Ok your blog is darling! I so admire your dedication to swimming... Especially the getting up early part. And the lifting weights part. And everything else part. Never again will I complain about having to show up at the newsroom at 7 AM. Girl you are a saint!

  3. Having gone through the swammer phase, all I can say is there is a sick enjoyment of that chlorine smell you just never get over.

    Also, it didn't take me very long before I joined a master's swimteam and was dragging myself out of bed at 5 again. I just never learned the don't party til 1 am lesson...

  4. I LOVED going to your swim meets ever since I can remember! It was fun seeing you in Long Beach the last two times. You're an amazing person and I look up to you :)

  5. GIRL. I so remember the feeling. I still have a hard time with not swimming because I become nostalgic and miss everyone so bad and the shape I was in too. But you have to realize what you can do when you are done swimming that you couldn't do before. Pick up something new that you love. That's how I get through! Miss you! Good luck at your last meet ever!!!