Swimming: the sport "normal" people only really pay attention to for one week every four years at the Olympics. Most people watch Michael Phelps or Katie Ledecky make swimming look incredibly easy, but they really never look too much further into it. As someone who has been competitively swimming for almost fourteen years, I can vouch for the fact that swimming is so much more than what is shown at meets. Here is a comprehensive list of a few problems that every swimmer knows a little too well.
1. When you get asked if you "won" your meet.
No, I did not single-handily win the entire meet...please stop asking me.
2. Sweating chlorine during dry-land.
Dry-land is terrible enough without everyone around you smelling like the pool's chemical closet.
3. When the person behind you rides on your feet.
Please, for my own sanity, leave 5 seconds after me.
4. When that same person also refuses to go ahead of you.
Don't get mad when I *accidentally* flutter kick your hands really hard for the next two hours.
Because waking up at 5:30am just isn't enough, how about coming back 8 hours later to do it all over again?
6. Putting on a tech suit and not being able to breathe.
Please ignore the red marks on my shoulders for the next few days.
7. Meets that do circle-seeding.
I'd like to think that I can keep up with the person in lane 4, but in reality they will probably lap me multiple times...it's fine!
8. When you hit your fingers on the lane line.
I think I have permanent scars on my knuckles.
9. Smacking wrists with someone else while doing butterfly.
Only slightly more irritating than hitting lane lines because you aren't sure if it was your fault or theirs.
10. Warm-ups at a huge meet.
Whoever said swimming was a no-contact sport has obviously never been to anything other than YMCA adult swim.
11. When someone else's parents care more about your times than you do.
No, Jan, I didn't know that I was .05 seconds away from a cut time, but thanks for letting me know!
12. Goggles claiming to be "anti-fog".
Wearing brand new goggles is so nice until you're 45 minutes into practice, and don't have time to clear them out at the wall. It's alright, I'll just swim directly against the lane line so I don't cause a collision.
13. Missing walls.
The following three strokes are about to be the hardest strokes you ever take...try not to sink.
14. The first week back being strictly test sets.
Coach knows that nobody has touched water since last season, he's just doing this for his own enjoyment.
The only few weeks where you won't hear me say "I'm quitting".