Swim, swimmy, swim.

Ok soooo I’m coming to realize that maybe Life After Swimming just doesn’t exist for me.  I mean, I know that it’s the name of my blog and all, but after a year of being removed from the sport (for the most part since I was coaching), I have REALLY been missing it. Maybe Life After Swimming should be Life After COLLEGE Swimming.  Eh, oh well.

fast 2006 169

I have been loving pool workouts lately, and I totally wish there were a master’s program close to me.  First, swimming doesn’t hurt my hips and shins in the way that running does.  Secondly, I get a good cardio workout while strengthening my arms and legs.  Third, I get to clear my head.

The only bad part is that swimming by yourself can get lonely from time to time.  At least I can swim in the pool and lane that I spent four years in! Totally feels like home.

Yesterday was the second time I have been in the pool this week! Here’s what I did:

  • 500 warmup – every 4th length backstroke
  • 28 x 100:
    4 pull with paddles on 1:30
    4 drill on 1:40
    4 swim (rotating a fast 25) on 1:30
    4 kick on 2:10
    4 swim (rotating a fast 25) on 1:30
    4 drill on 1:40
    4 pull with paddles on 1:30
    (the 100s make a ladder)
  • 300 cooldown – every 4th length backstroke
  • Total: 3600 yards!

senior nite 2005 005

Yep, at 15 I was a TOTAL braceface.  That’s me and my bestie (still) Melissa.

While I was swimming, I thought of some things that I learned the hard way through swimming:

If you’re early, you’re on time.  If you’re on time, you’re late.  This one is good for life…you always want to make sure you’re a few minutes early!

Always, always, always, have extra suits, caps, goggles, and towels.  I honestly have 5 pairs of goggles.  2 with light lenses for inside.  2 with dark lenses for outside.  And 1 pair that were my meet goggles for competition. I always have a back up because I break goggle straps like it’s my job.  Caps break easily too, especially if they’re old.  I’ve also had a suit rip down the butt seam. Talk about embarrassing. Something else that’s embarrassing: this picture that I found of myself from high school with one of my millions of pairs of goggles.


I was, and still am, so cute.

Make sure you have a good song in your head during the long sets. Or maybe something you’re studying for that you’re trying to memorize.  Sometimes, practices can be repetitive, and your mind needs something to focus on.

Give yourself PLENTY of time to get into a competition suit or a sports bra.  Especially if you’re wet, a competition suit can take forevaaaa and a day to get into.  Honestly, there have been times when I had a team of like 5 girls helping me get into a racing suit. It’s definitely a bonding experience. Getting on sports bras after swimming is also a task that took me a while to manage.

senior nite 07 126

You’re not going to have a good practice every day.  And you won’t complete every set at the given intervals.  There’s no other way to push through pressure and the mind-games that swimming can give without testing your limits.  You have to give it your all mentally and physically to be successful as a swimmer or an athlete in general.

Swimming may be an individual sport, but it can give you friends who will be more like family. After spending so many hours together, there’s no way you can avoid forming strong bonds with the people you swim with.  I am still best friends with swimmers I met at the age of 7.

swim banquet 07 166

The swimmers and divers of my graduating class.  Some of my best friends since forever. I am in the front on the far left.

If you’re going to invest a fair amount of time into something, make sure that it’s something you love.  I think this one is self-explanatory.

Swimming is something that I have a passion for.  I was never the fastest swimmer, and I never won a majority of my races.  But I loved it.  And I think that’s what has me getting back to the sport.

Have you learned anything from the sport you love? Or maybe from the sport you hate?

Oh, and P.S. I totally dove into the depths of my computer to find swimming pictures from throughout the years.  Reliving my fun swimming memories made me miss it even more. Smile



Filed under Exercise, Life, Swimming

16 responses to “Swim, swimmy, swim.

  1. hehe. I’ll take your blog title life after swimming. Giving yourself plenty of time to get into a competition suit. HA so true. I asked for a size 28 fast skin two years ago…my coach went back and bought a 24! 24! I was so afraid bending down on the blocks it would rip-I literally didn’t bend down very far and did it so slowely…and then got into more trouble! bahaha..

  2. It’s cool that you’ve learned so much from swimming! And who cares if it’s not really “life after…” 😉 As long as you’re enjoying it, that’s what matters!

  3. I had a roomie in college who did competitive swimming. She’d buy swimsuits and rip big holes in them and tie the shredded bits into knots. Then she’d wear it on top of another suit for “drag”. I thought it would have been easier to wear a t-shirt over her suit but she thought I was crazy. 🙂

    Hey – if you enjoy swimming, DO IT. Not everyone finds an exercise that they just love and if you do – embrace it.

  4. healthcraved

    LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!! And love that workout–going to have to do that one! I hate not having a masters program where I am–there’s one in my hometown but not here at my grad school 😦 I have a friend (not a swimmer) who comes with me to the pool and aqua jogs next to me while I swim. of course it’s definitely not the same as having people to swim with, but I’m surprised at how much having her there really helps

  5. Swimming is tough! I wish I was better at or had access to a pool right now since it is great when you can’t run. I hope you can find a master’s program close to you!

  6. Ah, I can relate to this post SO much! The Master’s team I swim with (in Murrysville –if you’re ever nearby!!) just started up and I need to get to practice LOL. I agree that you gotta have a GOOD song for the long sets.. and lots of caps and goggles 🙂

  7. LOVED the pics! 🙂 I swam in high school and this totally made me miss it. I have been thinking about swimming a lot and how accomplished it always made me feel. Thanks for the inspiration to get back in the pool!

  8. I love that you are swimming more!! Just because you aren’t swimming for school doesn’t mean you should stop!! This just proves the pool is where you are the most happy. Awesome swim workout btw.

  9. I loved seeing your pics – and i didn’t learn to swim until i was well into adulthood!

  10. getfitgirlnc

    I love the pics and i didn’t learn to swim until i was into adulthood! 🙂

  11. i’ve never really swam, haha, other than in a lake! i hear how it’s such a great workout, but I don’t really know where i’d get started, lol

  12. Haha, I love old pictures! I literally understand nothing about your workout, but it sounds awesome! I defs understand the “you won’t get a good practice every day” because I play rugby, ride, and run.. You better bet I sometimes have practices where I miss every tackle and drop passes, rides where I get thrown off/miss jumps, and runs where I’m just like “wtf, that was so slow”. But I think it makes you mentally stronger! 🙂

  13. LOVE all these points! I used to memorize poems for class while I swam. Haha. I wish I had your passion for swimming. I THOUGHT I missed it and I am trying to get back into it, but i’m just… not. I have no passion for it. 😦

  14. I needed a break from swimming as well. But a few years later, I was ready to jump into it! I joined a master’s team. Unfortuantly they practice at 8pm. And Andrew can’t hang out at home by himself haha. But I found some open water swims. Its amazing all the info you can think/go through/ work through in your mind during a swim. (I also have a million caps, googles, and suits in my bag. When I go to open water swims, I know people just stare haha OH WELL. Thanks for bringing back swimming memmories for me 🙂

  15. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts

    I’m totally with you on the being early to be in time point!

    I’m thrilled for you that you’ve been re-discovering / loving swimming. I’ve never been into swimming in a formal way but some of my high school friends stopped after school and have gone back – they missed it too.

  16. I love this post! I feel like I learned so much from playing sports that wouldn’t have taught me the same lesson in a different setting. I played volleyball and basketball for years and years and it’s easy to pick up a basketball and shoot for awhile outside but volleyball doesn’t quite work that way!

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