The Struggle: Why We Swim
by Logan Samuelson
There is the constant on going debate of which sport is the toughest. We all know swimming is the true winner. Nobody particularly enjoys waking up before the crack of dawn to put their body through so much pain and agony while most everyone is still asleep, not to mention the fact that we’ll have another practice that afternoon. It is truly a struggle but we do it for bigger reasons beyond ourselves. We do it because we love it. We do it for our friends. We do it because it’s a lifestyle and after a few years, we don’t know anything else.
Probably the single biggest reason that most swimmers invest so much time into the sport is simply because they love it. Swim practice is really an escape and a place many swimmers go to where they can forget about everything else going on in their life and just swim. It’s their temple. Now, it is really hard to find a swimmer who is excited for every practice just because it is such a struggle but we find ways to get through it. Swimming is the epitome of a love-hate relationship. We as swimmers love seeing best times as the result of a lot of hard work. It makes waking up early every morning easier, well sometimes. Although, as swimmers we also hate the early morning practices but find ourselves loving the breakfast after that makes it all worth it. All in all, at the end of the day the majority of swimmers swim simply because they love it.
Swimming seems like an individual sport, but it wouldn’t be the same (or nearly as much fun) without our friends and teammates. Not only would it not be as much fun, but it would be significantly harder. Think about it, there is nothing harder than swimming a practice by yourself or trying to go really fast when you have nobody to race. It’s truly a team sport. The biggest reason everyone goes to practice is to (hopefully) improve but the second biggest reason is probably because their friends are there. It’s really more than practice, it’s almost like a social outing. Swimming is tough, but it’s easier knowing you’re not alone. It helps when you look around and see your friends struggling right beside you. We swim for our friends.
Swimming is more than just a sport for so many reasons. It’s really a lifestyle. Swimming gives us a routine and structure to our life and helps keep most of us out of trouble. You can tell what a certain swimmer is doing in practice by their mood. If they’re super energetic they’re probably on taper, or just lazy, but if they’re dead tired and falling asleep in class then you know they’re putting the work in. I never thought of swimming as a lifestyle until an old swimmer from the ‘80s named Derek Weatherford told me what a shock it was to him once he finished. He also told me to enjoy the time I had left because it is truly the “good ole days.” Swimming is a way of life and one that most of us enjoy, most of the time.
Swimming is a struggle, there’s no way around it. However, why not embrace the struggle? The most successful swimmers, generally speaking, are the ones who are driven and set goals to help them get through the daily grind. Thankfully we have our teammates beside us everyday to help us along this journey. It sounds weird but there’s something about seeing the person next to you struggling and working hard that just motivates you even more. Swimming is a team sport. Lastly, it’s a lifestyle. It gives us a routine and structure to our life. Swimming is tough and a major struggle but one that we enjoy for the most part. Swimming opens doors to many things that we wouldn’t have without it like friends, new experiences, college swimming, and many other great oppurtunities. Once again, swimming is a struggle but it has impacted most of our lives for the better.
Logan Samuelson graduated from Fort Myers High School where he holds multiple school records … Swims for Swim Florida … Won the FHSAA 3A state title in the 200 and 500 free … Claimed first state title in 500 free in 2012 … 2013 World Championships Trials Qualifier. Logan begins his sophomore year at the University of Iowa in the fall.
Florida Swim Network