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WEDNESDAY WISDOM

13 Thoughts Every Swimmer Has During Practice

By Isabelle Robuck

Staring at a black line for two hours can be pretty grueling sometimes. With long sets, the alone time gives our mind a chance to wander far beyond just swimming. Here are 13 thoughts that every swimmer has during practice!

1. Ouch!

This is probably the most universally used word at practice. To get better, you have to work hard; if you work hard, chances are you’ll feel pain. But swimmers know all too well – no pain, no gain!

2. What are we doing next?

Kick? Stroke? Pull? Drills? Sometimes, what we’re doing next dictates how hard we push in the current set (although it shouldn’t). Nonetheless, portioning out our energy saves trouble in the end, and we’re not as gassed for the rest of the day’s endeavors, like weights and dryland.

3. Oh, that’s the answer to the question that was on my test!

During long sets, it’s almost impossible to catch your mind from wondering off into oblivion. “What shirt am I going to wear to dinner tomorrow? What am I swimming at the meet this weekend? Hopefully not the 200 butterfly! What movie are we going to watch tonight? Wait – what number are we on?” Often, you end up reviewing the day and – on the rare occasion – have a light-bulb moment.

4. What’s for dinner?

What’s best part of finishing practice? Your post-practice meal! That’s right, there’s nothing quite like your favorite meal after a grueling workout. Although nutritious foods replenish our body properly, it can be fun to splurge on a cheeseburger or pizza every now and then. A delicious reward after a long day never felt so good. But don’t worry, only every once and a while, right?

5. This must be what death feels like.

Swimming is all fun and games until your legs and arms fall off simultaneously. On top of that, you haven’t finished the set yet; you’re only halfway through practice. All that’s left to think is: “Oh, no…”

6. *Crying*

Whether it be tears of joy, defeat, or pain, we’ve all shed a tear or two during practice. Sometimes, a good cry helps alleviate some of practices struggles. In this case, cry on! Your goggles will wipe away your tears.

On the other hand, if you’ve finally cut time in your best event after six years, you can’t help but cry tears of joy- and a lot of them.

7. I should have used the restroom.

You’re probably familiar with that painful feeling when you forget to use the restroom before a set begins. Now, not even half way through, you’re regretting your life decisions. Not to mention, knowing that you can’t go for a while makes your remorse that much worse. In addition, the bathroom is a good hide-and-go-seek spot when coach rattles off a rough set.

8. You’re not serious, are you?

“There’s no way that set is possible, coach. I mean, come on! That’s not even a realistic interval, and you want me to do 12 of them? No way, Jose. I’m going to the bathroom now.”

9. Only four? That’s a good number!

Better than 12, right? Whether it be 50s or 500s, the less time staring at a black line, the better! Most of the time, single digits are good, unless they represent rounds.

10. Why are you touching my feet?

That’s right – one of the biggest no-nos in the sport is touching the feet. There’s nothing more annoying as your lane mate pushing off just two seconds after you and petting your feet during a set. However bad it seems, we’ve all done it, and we’ve probably all got yelled at for it. You live and you learn!

11. If I do this now, it won’t hurt as much during a meet, right?

While this may be an accurate statement, meets aren’t always peaches and rainbows – all swimmers know that. No matter what, racing is challenging regardless of how hard you train at practice. Sometimes, it just hurts less! Moreover, finishing a difficult set helps give you motivation to chase down your goals!

12. I did it!

Ah, the sweet feeling of success! There’s nothing quite like killing a long, hard set. Your muscles burn of soreness, but it hurts so good! Even better, your already-increasing confidence sky rockets when coach notices you had a killer practice and comments on it. That’s a day maker!

13. We’ve got this!

This is the best kind of motivation for your wonderful team mates. If you’re struggling through practice, you’re all struggling through it together. No one is left behind, and you bet your teammates will be there supporting you, even if you never think you’ll make it. All for one, and one for all – no matter what!

Swimming is no easy sport. You spend hours of time with your head underwater, left to nothing but your thoughts. What runs through your mind during practice?