It’s hard for a lot of people who are outside of the swimming world to grasp certain elements of the sport. Perhaps one of the most trickiest aspects to explain to non-swimmers is the concept of time.
For most people, a second sounds like nothing- it’s barely enough time to snap your fingers! Which is why it’s so common for me to get told by classmates or coworkers that being that far away from a time standard is “SO close!”.
Is it really, though?
For swimmers, a full second sounds like a huge amount, even for distance events. It could be the difference between making finals and being first alternate. Or between getting the gold medal, versus just missing the podium. It could be the thing standing in the way between you and a best time, or the split second it takes for you to make a wrong move and get disqualified.
For swimmers, every second is precious. Which is why we practice over and over our flip turns and dives. It’s why we wait months to shave down. The reason we wear the latest technology in tight-fitting fastskins, or trim our nails before a race.
For swimmers, you’re not just racing the other athletes in the water, but the clock, too. It is the ultimate competitor.
So make every second count.
See you soon.