During an intense training session or on the morning before a race, I have very often felt like stopping and giving up swimming. But then after all the intense effort and strain, a warm and comforting thought miraculously starts running through my head: “I could never give up swimming”.
I could give hundreds of reasons why swimming could never not be part of my life. I could come up with arguments of a physical, psychological and even philosophical nature, but there are some much simpler reasons why none of us wants to stop lapping up and down the pool.
#1 One hundred easy
These three words are like poetry to a swimmer. The “one hundred easy” is a real joy for every cell in a swimmer’s body. It is hard to describe it, because only somebody who has felt that incredible relaxing feeling after a really tough swim knows what kind of poetry we are talking about.
#2 Beating the swimmer in the next lane
None of us will admit to doing this, because we might be up against either competitive swimmers or even our best friend. But is there anything better than racing (and winning) against the person swimming in the lane alongside ours?
#3 A hot shower
I turn on the shower and the water starts running over my head, I close my eyes and all thoughts vanish. A hot shower after training can only be described as….. the epitome of pleasure!
#4 Losing count of the number of laps you have swum and then realising you have done more than you thought
I have a short memory and I often lose count of the number of laps I have swum. But I can certainly remember how great it feels to ask my training partners how many laps are left and finding out the answer is fewer than I thought.
#5 Water comes out of your ear and you can… hear again!
Can you remember having a blocked ear right through an entire training session and then, after lying down, suddenly feeling the water run out of your ear? I think any swimmer would describe this feeling as…… sublime!
As we have seen, you do not need to come up with metaphysical reasons for explaining how special swimming is, because it is, in fact, the little things that make it so wonderful.
What about you? Are there any reasons why you could never give up?