Strength is often portrayed heavily through physical aspects. However, mental toughness is just as important, if not more important than physical strength. The first step in doing anything involves your perception of that activity. If you lack the confidence in doing something, you would have already lost before you began. For example, if you were to run a mile during a race and you already visualize yourself placing last, you have already lost the race. If you were weight lifting and want to hit a personal record, you would have already lost by beginning to doubt yourself with the lack of confidence.
Through any sport, there is a heavy requirement of both mental and physical toughness. But I believe that swimmers have the best well-rounded aspect of mental and physical strength. It's a rather daunting task to be a competitive swimmer and be expected to train for over 20 hours a week, wake up for all the 5 a.m.'s, to stare at a black line for multiple hours a day and be expected to be in attendance 110% of the time. Being a swimmer builds time management, hard work, and discipline. Most of all, it builds a large appetite and a multitude of life skills ranging from a team and an individual aspect.
Hot summer days in a nice pool, a cool lake, or the wide ocean, swimming is not just a sport. It's pure enjoyment with family and friends even though competitively, it may feel torturous. After all, there is a reason why there is a body type called "swimmers body." Ultimately, it pays off. Swimming works out all parts of the body. It's amazing for physical therapy, as an escape, and it's the closest sensation to feeling like you're flying while you're floating (other than skydiving, but that's just gravity doing its job).
According to the World Health Organization, "in 2015, injuries accounted for over 9% of total global mortality. Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death…" proving that learning how to swim is also an essential life skill. Whether through playing near large bodies of water, to fighting for your life, kids and adults of all ages should have the basic skill to prevent further casualties.