9 Reasons to Be Thankful for the Sport of Swimming

Michael Butler
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The results are what they are.

The fastest swimmer wins the race, and if you look at the results, you will see that. You take the names out of the records, and the records don’t lie. You can take a lot of other things out of the sport and still have an exciting sport to watch. But once you’ve experienced it, swimming was the best thing that ever happened to me.

{1}. Hand in hand with the best coaches in the whole country
{2}. A serene mind
{3}. Discipline, dedication and commitment
{4}. Health
{5}. A physical challenge to match mental challenges
{6}. Having goals
{7}. A year round sport
{8}. Teamwork
{9}. To work with a team mate that you can trust and who you can achieve your goals with

Swimmer’s body.

One of the most popular aquatic sports is swimming. People from all ages use swimming as one of the ways to stay in shape. Over the years, the swimsuits worn in competitive swimming have changed from being used only for protection and support to a fashion statement and for fun.

If you’re not a swimmer or a fan of the sport, there’s no need to be envious of swimmers. Even if you aren’t using swimming as a form of exercise, you can use the sport for inspiration as you continue to work on your fitness goals. Here are some reasons you should be thankful for swimmers:

{1}. Excellent stamina and cardiovascular health. Pushing yourself to the limit over and over again may sound impossible. But just imagine having to swim the English Channel. Doing several laps of this long distance swim takes incredible stamina and cardiovascular health.
{2}. A good source of exercise. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise. It places lesser stress on your joints and bones as compared to running and other forms of physical exercise. Swimmers are very speedy and agile on land. This shows that swimming enhances general physical fitness.
{3}. Body alignment. The exercise is excellent for the body. Symmetry and alignment are clearly evident on swimmers.

It allows you to complete superhuman feats of eating.

I hear that you can out-eat even the most seasoned professional weightlifters and bodybuilders, without ever having to cut calories and spend hours in the weight room. That’s because professional swimmers eat a ton of calories each day and still wear Speedos. Just imagine what you could put away if you were a professional swimmer.

That’s because professional swimmers eat a ton of calories each day and still wear Speedos. Just imagine what you could put away if you were a professional swimmer.

It’s harder than it looks. I don’t care what you’ve heard. The truth is that professional swimmers look good in part because we’re in the pool so much that we end up looking good on land, too. But we had to work for it. There’s a lot of deliberate practice and determination going on at every single swim practice and you’ll need to work just as hard to look good on land.

The quietness of an empty pool.

The sound of moving water always relaxes my mind.

The smell is sufficient to remind me of the second home where I learned how to swim.

The unmistakable click of the scoreboard digital readout.

The race clock that always needs to be reset because it’s noisier than my watch.

The smell of chlorine that reminds me of summertime and staying up late.

The sound of steel plates impacting cement, making me wonder if someone put their plate in the dishwasher (at the YMCA).

The groaning of the chair rolling across the floor after I don’t have the energy to get out of the pool.

The sound of the whistle blowing, signaling an end to warmup.

A personal best time.

For most swimmers, just hitting the wall at the end of a race and then feeling the elation of a personal best time is enough to make them thankful for the sport. And in fact, a personal best time can profoundly change your life.

It is one of those experiences where it’s hard to put the feeling into words, but it’s a feeling you’ll keep with you forever.

But there are a million other reasons to be thankful for the sport of swimming.

Here are a few of the most compelling reasons why you should be thankful for the sport:

  • Getting fit
  • Improving your health
  • Building your self-esteem
  • Gaining confidence in difficult circumstances
  • Making new friends
  • Training for a challenge
  • Feeling a body-temperature difference between the pool and air
  • Finding a way to be creative
  • Enjoying a sense of accomplishment

Swim parents.

Today’s article is inspired by a conversation I had with a friend about the popularity of swimming and the declining interest in swimming as an adult sport. I’m hoping that by sharing with you my enthusiasm for swimming, I can share just a shade of that passion with you!

It engages and challenges your mind.

The mind is like a muscle; if you don’t use it, you lose it! When you swim you are challenging the mind to focus. You’re learning to breath to an exercise count. You’re learning the correct body position to execute properly and efficiently. There are so many aspects of swimming that you can’t do just by going with the flow; the care and focus it takes to swim well is exactly what makes it such a great mental workout.

It engages and challenges your body.

We all talk about how swimming can be a great form of exercise, but it can be a workout like no other. It is an excellent form of exercise for your whole body. You don’t constantly move just one muscle group. It is a very low impact exercise and you engage the heart, lungs and muscles simultaneously. It provides an excellent cardiovascular workout and tones, strengthens and stretches your muscles.

It challenges the body to get stronger.

No matter what pool you go to, it is home away from home.

For a lot of swimmers, their experiences of swimming start at a very young age and it can become a place that feels just like home away from home. It’s a place where many people feel happy and relaxed.

“It’s my family. You can always depend on your teammates to be there for you,” said Katie Ledecky, who set a world record in the 800-meter freestyle at the 2016 Rio Games at the age of 19. “Whenever I travel, my place is with the USA team.”

“It’s my family. You can always depend on your teammates to be there for you,” said Katie Ledecky, who set a world record in the 800-meter freestyle at the 2016 Rio Games at the age of 19. “Whenever I travel, my place is with the USA team.”

Based on the experience of many swimmers, the team environment is something to be thankful for, and so is the feeling that you are among friends. This is one of the many reasons why swimming has been called a family sport.

The people we share the lane with every single day–our teammates.

Our swim coach.

Though competition and the drive to win motivate me to swim, I must be honest and include that my coaches and teammates make it worth the effort. They sacrifice their time to train us, teach us, improve our skills or help us achieve athletic goals. No matter the reason, every swimmer should be thankful for a coach.

Unfortunately, though, there are some swimmers who don’t like or respect the work their coaches do. To be fair, coaches are not perfect. Sometimes they misjudge a swimmer’s skill level, don’t communicate effectively, or don’t believe in a swimmer, or just don’t care. But any swimmer can surely be thankful for a good coach.