People dont swim because its fun. Ask any swimmer, most of them hate it, but they couldnt imagine their life with out it. Its part of them, its something they live for. They live for the 5 a.m practices, pasta partys, cheers, long bus rides, invitationals, countless swim caps, chlorine, and coaches you hate but appreciate later. They live for the way it feels when you beat the person next to you by a tenth of a second and you know those 2 extra laps you did in practice were worth it. You live for the way you jump every time you hear a buzzer, or the way you scream whenever you hear the gun on the 500, even though you hear it every time. You live for the way you celebrate when you get to do a set with fins. You live for the way you become a family with your team, and no one understands what happens within that pool or locker room, but you. You live for the countless songs you sing in your head when your swimming those laps. You live for the people who scream at you while your swimming even though all you hear is BLAH BLAH BLAH. You live for the competition, you live for the friends, you live for the practice, you live for the pain, its a part of you. You are a swimmer. It's the feeling you get at the end of a hard practice, when you've pushed ur self to the limits, and it's the way the water feels when get back in after time off, it's knowing that you don't have to shave for months at a time, and thinking of 7:00 am practice as sleeping in. It's muscle cramps, swimmers ear, and 11 practices a week. It's when your coach knows you better than your father, and your teammates are your brothers and sisters. It's seeing everyone else cheer you on during a race, and knowing your team is behind you. It's borrowing caps and sharing shampoo, going through whole boxes of cereal in one day, and blowing the fuse in the locker room four times because everyone has to get ready after morning practice. It's hearing people at school say "It's must be a swimmer thing," and always having the best parking spot because you are the first one at the school every morning. It's a collection of T-shirts and ribbons, and not really being able to put into words how the meet went. It's knowing that you got up and did something you love, and something you hate, and something you can't really explain, and don't' really want to understand. It's the way you walk, and the way you talk. It's something that no one else really understands because they haven't felt the feeling you get every time you step up onto the blocks, that swimming isn't just a sport... it's all the friends and coaches over the years, all the practices and inside jokes, all the memories, all the fun times and all the road trips.