The Medallion

16 Things Non-Swimmers Need to Stop Saying

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1. “Swimming isn’t a sport”
Each practice I can burn up to 1600 calories, and I practice two and a half hours, six days a week. If you don’t consider that a sport than I don’t know what is.

2. “I’m a swimmer”
This is one of the most common statements, and it happens to be a broad statement. To be considered a swimmer in the “swim world” you have to swim competitively.

3. “But I swim on a summer team”
Granted a lot of “real” swimmers swim summer league, in the “swim world” you have to swim year-round to be swimmer. This is mostly because year-round swimmers spend a lot more time in the pool than summer swimmers.

4. “You can’t ever hang out”
It is true that when you swim 18 hours a week, you lose a lot of your freedom. But that is not always the case, sometimes you’ll find me eating or napping.

5. “Why do you nap all the time”
I can’t help the fact my body needs over six hours of sleep a night, and 4:00 AM practice calls when it calls.

6. “Watching swimming is so boring, all you do is watch someone go back and forth across the pool”
One of the most understandable things on this list, swimming can be boring for a non swimmer. Watching from a swimmer’s perspective is an interesting way to enjoy time on the TV. How do they propel so fast off the block? How do they take their underwaters to the 15 meter mark? How do they swim breaststroke?

7. “Can you do the butterfly?”
Yes, I have been swimming for seven years. I know how to “do the
butterfly.” And just so you know, swimmers refer to it as just “fly”

8. “You smell like the pool”
That would be the Chlorine. You see, when I come home from 4:00AM practice, the first thing I do is eat, then I take a nap. Most of the time I wake up at 7:00 and go straight to my bus stop. No time to shower, sorry.

9. “Why would you spend $300 on a swimsuit that wears off in twenty uses?”
Not all suits are that expensive, my practice suit is only $20. And the suits that do cost $300, I use twice the recommended use. After around 20 uses, the hydrophobic (made of polyester, nylon, elastane, LYCRA™ and spandex) begins to wear off, though it does not change aesthetically. After that, it essentially becomes a very, very, tight suit. That $300 suit could be the difference between making the cut for an Eastern Zone meet, or not. That swim meet can leave a lasting memory you won’t ever forget, and that’s worth more than money.

10. “If you’re a swimmer you must do dive too, right?”
In practice we’ll do the occasional dive set, but that is off the blocks and we go straight into sprints, and our blocks are only four feet above the water. Swimming and diving are two completely different sports.

11. “I bet I could beat you in a race”
I am almost positive that if you got in a lane right next to me, you would eat my bubbles. I’ve got seven years of practice on you, and a complete swimmer body.

12. “Do you ever get tired of staring at the black line?”
Well recently when somebody asked me, I had never paid any attention to it. I might get tired of it now!

13. “Have you ever met Michael Phelps?”
Granted Michael Phelps was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he has since moved to Arizona, and Michael Phelps is essentially a celebrity. So no, I haven’t met him or seen him at any of my swim meets, practices, or other swim related events.

14. “Are you fast?”
I could not answer that question. First you have no frame of reference, and second, swim is a very subjective sport. Compared to the fastest kid on my team, who was the second fastest 12 year old 200 flyer in the country, I feel like my swim career is going nowhere. But compared to other swimmers I know, I feel on top of the world.

15. “Why do you eat so much?”
During a two and a half hour practice I can burn anywhere from 700-1600 calories. That’s almost a whole box of pasta, or around 33 McDonalds Chicken Nuggets.

16. “Do you sweat when you swim?”
Just like any physical activity, you are going to sweat if you push your body to do so. But with swim, you won’t even notice it. The pool is kept between 82-84 degrees Fahrenheit which is plenty cold enough for you to forget.

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16 Things Non-Swimmers Need to Stop Saying