Hey. McKay here. I’m that girl who is learning how to swim.
Here’s how it’s changed my life already:
When I first started my swim lessons, I was focused strictly on the physical aspect of it. Silly me! I have found that swimming is not just propelling yourself through water; it’s a culture. If you’re just learning to swim like I am, I think you will find that it will permeate many more aspects of your life than expected. For instance, you will have to buy way more conditioner than usual, and you will definitely have dreams about swimming.
You’re going to be bombarded with a lot of lingo. I am finally figuring out what all the different abbreviations mean (even today I had to look up what “IM” means). And on top of that, you’ll have to be good at counting by 25’s and 50’s. My swim class trains in a short course pool; totally unrelated note: I am becoming an expert in paying with quarters recently. I also found this great website for learning all the swim lingo you could ever fathom. It has been a go-to for me these past few months.
Like I have said before, swimming exposes you to a new world. It makes you curious. Greatly affected by this, I’ve spent a lot of time looking into well-known swimmers. I mainly went into it to see what swimming technique should look like, but I ended up mesmerized watching these amazing swimmers do their thing. And man, they were doing it. Something grew within me: admiration.
So I began to read articles about professional swimmers. Articles like this one gave me new admiration for these amazing people. That’s when I happened upon Katie Ledecky. What an incredible swimmer she is!
If you don’t believe me, check this out:
I look at her and I think, “there’s no way in this whole wide world I could ever do that”. But then I realize that I am doing exactly what she is doing (albeit she’s doing it a lot better than me). I am used to sports that use a ball, those that have the “us against them” mentality. Swimming isn’t like that. When you swim, you swim against yourself. It’s a daily test to see if you are better than you were the day before. That’s something that Katie Ledecky and I have in common. She’s continually improving herself, as I am trying to do.
So just remember, when you have those discouraging days (trust me, I’ve had my fair share of them too) that swimming is just a test to see if you are better than you were yesterday. I think that if you have that mindset, you’ll find greater fulfillment in swimming and in yourself.
Just a little endnote here – I have faced quite a few walls in my progress, but I’ve found that focusing on the advice in this article. My swims got better and I got more confident. Check it out!