One day you won’t be a swimmer anymore. You won’t have those long bus rides with your teammates. You won’t stare at the black line on the bottom of the pool for hours on end. You won’t pull your bone-aching body out of the water day in and day out. You won’t have that routine you do before every race. You won’t scream like hell for your teammates.
One day teammates will become distant acquaintances and swimming will become what used to be instead of what is. Eventually, the one thing you looked forward to will come to an end. The one thing you relied on to relieve your stress and allow you to escape from all your problems won’t be there anymore. One day you won’t be a swimmer, you will just have the memories of one.
So I beg of you, cherish these moments right here, right now. Live in it freely, embrace the pain, laugh with your teammates, love your coaches. Push yourself 110% and have no regrets. Make some damn good memories because one day, you’ll leave what you once loved and step into the bright, exciting, unknown future in search of a new love, and these memories will be all you have left from this crazy ass sport.
some thoughts bc i just realized i only have 2 more years :’)
This wasn’t the Olympics Missy had hoped for, but she still continues to smile and that means so much. There’s still so much left for Missy and hope she comes back stronger again. Her attitude and her love for the sport is truly beautiful to see. Keep working hard. The fight isn’t over and neither is your love for the sport. We love you, Missy Franklin.
To all of you who struggle with not being the fastest, not having more talent, and always getting second, ninth, seventeenth, or first alternate:
My club coach in high school constantly told us that we weren’t normal. That if we were, we’d have given up a long time ago. We’re swimmers. We push our bodies through more blood, sweat, pain, and tears than any other athlete. Swimming as a sport sucks ass. You think swimming is all fun? You’re doing it wrong. You’ve got to have the determination to show everybody what you’re made of. You’ve got to have the patience when you hit a bump in your training and don’t improve for weeks, months, years at a time. You’ve got to have passion. If you don’t have passion for swimming, then why the hell would you ever put your body through this mess? You have to want this more than anything else, you have to put your all into it, 100%, 24/7. Because if you don’t, I’ll tell you straight up–you’re wasting your time.
It’s gonna suck going to practice 20+ hours a week. It’s gonna suck waking up at 4:30, doing drylands, hitting your pace, doing test sets, doing lactate. It’s gonna suck when it’s your 100000th practice of your career, and you just want to quit because you’ve been through this 99999 times before. But it’s the passion you have inside you that will keep you going. The passion is what will set you, me, us apart from other athletes–from other swimmers. It’s what will make us great, elite, the best.
Because let me tell you this, it doesn’t matter how slow or fast you are, whether or not you have more or less talent than the person you’re racing against, or whether you’re going to a D1 or D3 school, or not even swimming in college at all. If you raced the best you could, if you left everything in the pool, and if you have passion, you’re already 10 times better than the kids who halfass the work.