Photo Courtesy: Les Naguers

By Morgan Pestorius, Swimming World College Intern

As a swimmer, I can’t tell you how often I’ve been asked if I get bored swimming laps for hours at a time. The secret to swimming is that we never get bored, we just use our practice time for thinking. My teammates and I have discussed some crazy thoughts we have had while swimming, but these are the 10 Thoughts Every Swimmer Has During Practice:

10 Thoughts Every Swimmer Has During Practice

1. “When did I start singing this song?”

Neon Music Sign

Photo Courtesy: Nevit Dilmen

Once you get a song stuck in your head during practice, it is almost impossible to get out. It could be a song you haven’t listened to in years, but suddenly you remember every word and you’re synchronizing your stroke to the beat. Some swimmers pick a song that they want to be stuck in their head before a race, in order to pump them up, or make it more entertaining.

If it is an extra monotonous song, there is always the option of singing it out loud between intervals so that you can share your musical tastes with your teammates. They will certainly appreciate the sharing.

2. “I wonder what’s for dinner”


Swimmers burn calories every minute they are practicing, which explains why they are always hungry. Swimmers spend most of their time planning what they are going to eat next. Most of the time, they are thinking about normal meals, but sometimes they have some crazy cravings.

A good day for a swimmer is “Sleep until you are hungry, Eat until you are tired. Swim in between.”

3. “Wait, who was the 23rd president?”


Swimmers often have trouble balancing their schoolwork and practice schedule. In order to use their time wisely, they regularly use practice time to study for an upcoming test or review what they learned in class that day. That is why strange questions are sometimes asked between repeats. Long questions may take a whole set to ask.

Editor’s note: It’s Benjamin Harrison, by the way!

4. “What if I said this instead…”


Photo Courtesy: Rocky Morton

There is so much time spent in the pool, that swimmers have the opportunity to replay recent events in their head. Sometimes, they find themselves altering these events to see how it could have played out differently. The only problem with this is that it can be difficult to recall what happened and what was daydreamed during a set.

5. “What number are we on?”


Photo Courtesy: Geralt/Pixabay

Swimmers spend so much time thinking about things other than swimming, that they can easily lose count of what they are doing. This isn’t a problem when you are behind your teammates. But, if you are leading your lane you have to guess how much you have left to swim.

Hopefully, no one will tell your coach if you miscount by a few. It usually works out if you are swimming intervals that help you count. 50s on the 50 – it takes 7 repeats to go from top to top. If they are on the minute though, tough luck.

6. “What time is it?”


Photo Courtesy: Beyond Silence

Every swimmer’s goal is to spend as little time in the water as possible. If there is not a clock available, you can estimate the time remaining by adding up everything you have done so far, and how long it took you. The worst feeling is when you finish a set and think that there’s no more time for anything but cool down, and then your coach announces another set.

7. “I wonder if I could fall asleep while swimming”


Photo Courtesy: Angel Eowyn

Swimming takes a lot of energy and after a long day, there can be a question of if you will actually make it through the practice. There have been times where I’ve used every ounce of energy I had left, and struggled to get out of the pool when it was finally time to leave.

There are also times I cannot remember any of the previous set. I know I swam it, but I simply had no recollection. I must have been “sleep swimming”.

8. “How much yardage have we done today, this week, this month, in my lifetime?”


Photo Courtesy: Pastorius

“How far did you swim today” is not only the favorite question of non swimmers, it is a pretty common question for the “wet set”.

The distance swum in any particular practice is generally too easy a question to take any real time. However, with some simple math, swimmers can easily start to calculate out how far they have swum in weeks, months, seasons or lifetimes.

An additional option of this topic is to determine how far you have swum in terms of geographic distance. For instance, who among us has not tried to calculate if they have actually swum from Florida to New York.

9. “I wish I was a diver”

KNOXVILLE, TN - August 17, 2014: Maria Lohman during the 2014 USA Senior Diving National Event Finals at Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Matthew S. DeMaria

Photo Courtesy: Matthew S. DeMaria

Diving looks more and more appealing the longer you swim. I know plenty of swimmers who would jump at the opportunity to try diving. It would be nice to take a break from the grueling intervals and jump on the trampoline for a bit.

10. “Who even invented swimming?”


Photo Courtesy: Les Naguers

Swimming is a very strange action and when you’re swimming a fly set, you always wonder whose great idea this was anyway. Wasn’t the front-crawl simple enough? Why did we need to throw in all this other strokes with all these rules?