Life Lessons from Swimming

Growing up, swimming shaped my whole life. When you spend 40+ hours per week at the pool, how can it not?

I don’t regret the long hours nor the wrinkled fingers nor swimming til I puked blood. And, I certainly don’t regret the lessons I learned and have carried with me into everything I do.

My wish is that one day, my kids’ get a swim coach just as amazing (and scary) who will impart similar lessons unto them:

Never walk when you can swim.
Never take the easy way out. Never miss an opportunity to practice.

Not racing is like practicing for a spelling test and then not taking it.
It’s not enough to show up to practice. Take the risk and race. Otherwise, all your work is for nothing.

Practice doesn’t start until the lactic acid kicks in.
If you’re not pushing yourself out of comfort zones, you’ll never get better.

There’s no reason not to show up to practice.
Take your commitments seriously. Don’t make silly excuses. Play like a champion.

Coach never explained his lessons. He repeated them until they were second nature and let us figure out what each one truly meant. Twenty years later? I still say to myself, “Never walk when you can swim,” any time I’m about to get out of the water.

1 Comment

  1. […] Growing up in Florida, swim team was a way of life for most children in my neighborhood. As the years progressed and I became more involved in swim team, more hours were spent in a pool and around my coaches and teammates than with my own family. Unknowingly, I didn’t just learn to be a D1 competitive swimmer, I also learned many life lessons. […]

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