Monday, August 6, 2012

Swimming: My Lifelong Sport

When I was in late elementary/early middle school I spent a couple of summers hanging out with my cousins at a golf club, taking tennis and golf lessons and swimming on a swim team. I had a love/hate relationship with these summers. Love because I had a blast hanging out with my cousins. Of course since I was kind of a brat, I had a whole list of complaints, starting with the super cliquey other girls who took lessons (and by super cliquey, I mean I was not cool enough for their clique) and ending with the fact that I just did not like golf. Yes, Eric thinks my dislike of golf is just to spite him but in fact it began around age 10. I actually like it more now than I did then.

Anyway, when I was rattling off my list of complaints to my parents, they always stressed that both golf and tennis were good lifelong sports. They were forward thinking enough to know that my soccer days would be over (quickly), and in adulthood I'd want a sport that I could continue to do. Of course, this did not sell me at all, but like everything else they said and I disagreed with, they were right.

But it wasn't golf, or even really tennis (though I love tennis, just find it difficult to find people to play with) that I ended up bringing into adulthood. It was actually, swimming. 

My love for swimming goes back as far as I can remember. I don't recall a summer or a winter vacation without it.
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When I was younger, we would go to the Cape for a week and rent a house. We always went to this awesome pool in New Seabury. I loved, loved swimming in it and easily could have spent the entire day in the pool. Therefore, the absolute bane of my existence was "adult swim" which happened for the first fifteen minutes of every single hour. The lifeguards would blow the whistle and ALL the kids had to get out. The worst, I'm telling you.

I actually even loved swimming during my brief swim team experience at the previously mentioned golf club. I mean, I was not fast. I came in last basically every single meet. But, I still liked it- which says a lot because I usually don't like things I'm not good at. Ask Eric.

Swimming saved me again when I worked at a camp the summer after my freshman year of college. The director originally assigned me to a middle school group that went on daily field trips. The idea of getting on a bumpy bus every day with middle school kids made me stomach feel sick (I get pretty carsick on buses as it is) and I somehow managed to get myself switched to pool staff. I was a certified life guard but didn't really have any swim teaching experience. Luckily I did have a knack for getting little kids excited about the water and swimming. By knack I mean I was willing to look like a complete idiot splashing around the pool singing "Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool…" I was particularly famous for my work with the 3 year olds, who no one else really wanted to deal with and I loved. My experience with them actually made me change my college major from Elementary Ed to Early Chilhood, which lead me to the kindergarten teacher I am today. Crazy how life goes.

I revisited swimming for fitness a few years ago when I trained for my first triathlon. I wouldn't say it was love at first sight, but I've come to really love swimming now. I love that swimming works so many different muscles in my body. I love that swimming doesn't seem to injure me (yay!). I love that I can easily go for a nice swim the more after a late night wedding, when running seems like a terrible idea. I love that swimming is also the perfect cure after an annoying day. I love that swimming provides good thinking time, and has even helped me come up with some good ideas/solutions. I'm still not the fastest swimmer, but I would say it is my triathlon strength. I even love watching swimming the Olympics, especially the girls who I just think are AWESOME. Missy Franklin, you rock.

My 92 year old grandparents were big golfers, but now at 92, what does my grandfather do? Swims. He also eats ice cream nightly, so I think he is on to something. Yeah, that settles it. Swimming will be my lifelong sport.

What sports do you think will be your lifelong sports? 


  1. I love that picture of you as a child! So cute! And I think it is really cool that swimming played a part in helping you figure out what you should do for a living. I really like swimming, too, but I don't do it very often as I don't have access to a pool. My only issue with swimming is that I am not very good at breathing while swimming, so I feel like I get even more winded!

    I am hoping that running is a lifelong sport for me. I started running when I was about 23, and I've had some periods of my life where I didn't run (like during grad school), but now i can't imagine my life without it. But... I might be like your grandpa and may need to transition to swimming some day.

  2. Were you jumping rope into the pool? haha love it! I agree swimming is the best. Injured? Swim. Pregnant? Swim. Total body workout? Swim. Can't wait to join you in the pool in September! Oh and we should play tennis too :)

  3. I think swimming will be my lifelong sport too even though I do tend to take long breaks from it. It's something I always come back to. I grew up taking swimming lessons and swimming on the swim team and then taught lessons when I was a lifeguard. When I first moved to Kamloops I joined the masters swim team here which was an AWESOME workout and I think that's partly what built up my lung capacity enough that I could get into running!

    I haven't swam seriously since triathlon training last summer but I do swim a few laps in my moms pool a couple times a week and I think this fall I want to try getting back into it because it is a GREAT workout.