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View Full Version : What is the worst swimming-related experience you have ever had?



twilson559
September 10th, 2005, 04:57 PM
Hello,

What is the worst swimming-related expereince you have ever had? Was it a coach from Nazi Germany? A near-drowning? A shark encounter? Sharing a lane with a rude swimmer? Share your story.

Thanks,
TWilson

hmlee
September 10th, 2005, 09:17 PM
I think this honor belongs to when I was a youngin (well more so than now) and was swimming for a club. I was about 9 or 10 years old at the time, and we were swimming LCM in an outdoor pool.

Anyway, I had contracted the flu or some nasty stomach virus and begged my parents to not make me go to morning practice.

Of course, they thought I was just trying to get in a day of sleeping past 6am, so they made me go.

Needless to say, hard sets and swilling gatorade didn't exactly help my stomach situation. I ended up getting out about 20 minutes into the workout, running to the bathroom, and being horribly horribly sick...ruining a suit and part of my dignity...

cjolsen
September 11th, 2005, 07:50 PM
My very first triathlon. I had trained and trained for the swim. Half way into the 1k swim, I turned at a bouy and headed in towards the shore.

I was making really good time, and I was almost all the way in, and I noticed that there weren't any other swimmers around me. I thought, this is either really good or really bad.

It was really bad.

I started to notice that the red marker bouys weren't lining up with the finish area (marked by a bunch of balloons.) Then saw this guy in a kayak coming towards me to ask if I needed help. I looked around, and remembered that there were three bouys I needed to swim around, rather than two.

I swam back to the third bouy and ended up swimming about 400 yards further than everyone else. Two months later, I swam the same course 8 minutes faster.

The nice part was that I was so far behind coming out of the swim, that I got to pass a lot of people on the bike leg and was not too humiliated in the run.

gull
September 11th, 2005, 08:32 PM
My first Masters meet two years ago, after 25 years away from competition. I had no idea what kind of times to enter, so for the 200 free I "conservatively" guessed a 1:53, which placed me in the fastest heat. When I finished in 2:07, the other swimmers in my heat had already hit the showers. At least my kids thought I'd done well (I think they were being kind).

zestyfrog7
September 12th, 2005, 12:53 PM
I am from Wisconsin, born and raised 22 years, but I live in Southwest Florida now. I was at practice a week ago on Labor day in the morning. I was swimming along making great time on a 500 freestyle when I got to the middle of the lane and there right in front of my face was the largest bug I had ever seen. It was swimming straight at my face with these hug pinchers out front. I still am not sure how I stopped and turned around so fast and swam my butt to the end of the pool and jumped out. Coach was laughing so hard and I was scared out of my mind and trying to catch my breath. Turns out it was a bug they call the electric light bug or a toe-biter, aka giant water bug. It was about 3 inches long, 1 inch wide and I was told they are aggressive and will come after you. Creeped me out for the rest of the day and now whenever I am at practice I am looking out for bugs. Here is a link with what these bugs look like, the picture is the actual size of this thing.

http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/bugs/belostomatid01.htm

69gscal
September 12th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Worst swimming related story?

I was at a beach in the Basque region of France with my girlfriend when we got caught in a rip tide taking us out to sea. I knew I could make it out by swimming parallel to the shore until we were clear of the tide and then make it to shore. My girlfriend was tiring quickly though and didn't think she could swim any longer, but was confident she could float along with the the tide.

The lifeguards had just packed up and left so we knew we were in this on our own.

I decided I'd swim back to shore and grab my surfboard for her to use. I swam the quickest 50 meters of my life against the tide, ran 50 meters for my board and then back to the water.

When I got back in the water I couldn't see her floating any longer. I know it must have only been 3-5 seconds but it felt like an eternity before I heard a voice calling to me from the shore.
She had been fortunate enough to get lifted to the shore by 3 or 4 large waves.

I've never been as terrified in my life as I was durring those 3-5 seconds.

Guvnah
September 12th, 2005, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by zestyfrog7
I am from Wisconsin, born and raised 22 years, but I live in Southwest Florida now. I was at practice a week ago on Labor day in the morning. I was swimming along making great time on a 500 freestyle when I got to the middle of the lane and there right in front of my face was the largest bug I had ever seen. It was swimming straight at my face with these hug pinchers out front. I still am not sure how I stopped and turned around so fast and swam my butt to the end of the pool and jumped out. Coach was laughing so hard and I was scared out of my mind and trying to catch my breath. Turns out it was a bug they call the electric light bug or a toe-biter, aka giant water bug. It was about 3 inches long, 1 inch wide and I was told they are aggressive and will come after you. Creeped me out for the rest of the day and now whenever I am at practice I am looking out for bugs. Here is a link with what these bugs look like, the picture is the actual size of this thing.

http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/bugs/belostomatid01.htm

Yup. A giant water bug, and they can deliver a rather nasty bite. But they're more interested in other bugs and even small fish.

FYi, they can make good soup.

Guvnah
September 12th, 2005, 01:55 PM
When I was about 6 or 7 years old, my family did a vacation at a lake in upstate New York called Schroon Lake. The week before that I had just completed (but failed) the beginner red-cross swimming course. In spite of that failure, I still thought I was capable enough to jump off the diving board at the hotel pool. My father and mother (who could not swim) had the 8mm movie camera going. I jumped, and came up right away, but immediately started to panic and flail. They kept the camera rolling. Eventually another guest jumped in (there were no lifeguards) and hauled me out. We have it all on film. Now it's a family heirloom.

That same week my sister and I were playing in the lake. We had our blow-up life-rings on, so no threat of drowning. We started kicking and found ourselves moving away from shore. We couldn't figure out how to turn around. We shouted to mom and dad who were laying on a blanket on the shore. "Just kick with one leg and you'll turn around..." was their answer. Try as we might, we just kept goung farther and farther out. My dad tried to wade out to up until it was too deep. They had to get a boat to get us.

You'd think after that week I would have ended up so traumatized by water that I would have never learned to swim. I guess somehow I got over it!

USMSarah
September 12th, 2005, 04:10 PM
This one stands out for me...

I was at a USS invitational somewhere in Tennessee when I was in H.S.

Being a backstroker, I noticed that when I warmed up that the flags at the opposite end of the timers were a little off... but I adjusted properly and got out of the pool.

For my 100 back... I was ready... I had made the state cut at a previous meet and I wanted to go even faster this time. Off we went...

I got ready for my first flip turn... and when I turned onto my stomach, there was the wall... IT WAS TOO CLOSE... had to flip... and I slammed both of my feet right into the gutters (right on the heel). I could hear the bang underwater... I could hardly kick during the rest of my event. When I got out, my coach was waiting right there for me... I took one look at him and just cried. I looked back out at the flags- and they were completely crooked! I'd say that one end was like 2 or 3 feet shorter than the other! (I had warmed up on the other side of the pool).

I told the meet referee, but he just stared at me and didn't do anything about it.

:mad:

nkace
September 12th, 2005, 04:35 PM
This was back in high school, many years ago, has more to do w/ diving than swimming though. I needed to practice my somersault off the diving board since I kept either over or under rotating off the diving board. My coach made me stand at the end of the diving board to do a standing flip. I really didn't want to because I didn't think I could. Sure enough after several minutes of standing there contemplating, I did & *SMACK* hit the back of my head on the diving board. Needless to say he never made me do that again. It was scary & hurt like hell but I made it through w/out any problems.

F'ueco
September 12th, 2005, 10:11 PM
Okay, now I have two after reading that last one.

1. When I was in high school, during water polo practise one day I sprained my ankle while doing a flip turn. The coach made me "walk it off", thinking it wasn't bad. I couldn't walk on it for two days afterwards.

2. In college, also during water polo practise of course. I was jumping into the pool and turned around while jumping. I hit my chin on the pool deck, splitting it open. I asked the coach if it was bad, and he just said, "Go to the trainer". When I looked in the mirror in the locker room I could not believe what I had done. I missed practise for the next week and a half.

Glenn
September 13th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Freshman year in high school. We were the defending Newark (NJ) City League Champions and I was home getting over the measles. I was so disappointed not to be able to swim. My father, who had attended most of my meets, had gone to the championship meet to cheer on the team. About half way through the meet he called my mother and told her to bring me down to the meet.

I was not feeling one hundred percent but I got to swim on the freestyle relay that placed third.

gull
September 13th, 2005, 03:21 PM
Now we know the cause of the famous Newark measles epidemic.

Swimmer1999
September 13th, 2005, 09:37 PM
Most of my childhood swimming career was traumatic. I had a coach who's primary methods for motivation were threats, yelling, and curse words. No joke, he'd scream f-this, you little s***, and so on. I started swimming at 7, and stopped swimming for him at 13. It was surreal, but I thought it was normal. Interesting though, is that he had his problems with the swim parents, but for the most part he had their support. It wasn't until I was in college that I learned to appreciate a good coach, someone that finally made me realize that I was in the pool for my own reasons, no one elses.

gjy
September 13th, 2005, 10:02 PM
Did some very high jumping off cliffs in the Kern County mountains as a teenager and hit bottom a couple of times but the one jump that could have killed me was off a cliff at the Colorado River, also as a teenager, when I was foolishly UI. I landed just feet from the rocks. That was the last time I have done something anywhere near as foolish. I can blame it on friends. Fortunately, I grew up quickly enough. Decades later I have not forgotten the fear of hitting the rocks one bit.

I've have plenty of mishaps doing flips off the diving board as a teenager. I'm surprised more people didn't cite diving mishaps, but then again, diving boards just don't exist like they used to when I was a kid.

Bob McAdams
September 14th, 2005, 01:27 PM
My worst swimming experience so far was at an outdoor long course meet. It was my last heat of the day (50 backstroke), and as they were announcing the event before telling us to jump in the water, a bee flew up and stung me on my right nipple. Then they told us to jump in the water, and I had to try to block out the pain and focus on the event. I must have succeeded, since I managed to knock about 7 seconds off my time from the previous year for the same event!


Bob

Edward The Head
September 14th, 2005, 01:36 PM
I got ready for my first flip turn... and when I turned onto my stomach, there was the wall... IT WAS TOO CLOSE... had to flip... and I slammed both of my feet right into the gutters (right on the heel).

I did this once except it wasn't my feet that hit.

I was at my second masters meet, and I was doing my first 200IM since high school. Since that time they had changed the back stroke turn, I knew how to do it but hadn't been doing it for long. Anyway I come up on the flags, count, flip, and got so close to the bulkhead I caught my suit on it. I didn't have my suit come off, but I did have the back of the suit see thru.

alexknibbs
September 14th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Two scary episodes:

Once, when in the caribbean on vacation I decided to swim out to some breaking waves about a mile off shore. My wife was with me so I told her I'd probably be about 40 minutes there and back. Trouble was, after hitting the waves a mile out and turning round .. I swam back not quite in a straight line and ended up some distance along frommy starting point. The situation went from bad to worse. I ended up asking a local to our hotel and he pointed me in the wrong direction; the coastline was very rocky; fell and cut myself and, when I finally guessed I was walking the wrong way I got back in the ocean to swim back the 'correct' way (it was quicker than walking!) Needless to say my wife was convinced I'd drowned and was *somewhat distressed* when we finally met up again.

Second time, many years ago, swimming across Lake Geneva from Switzerland to France. Although I finished the swim I ended up with hypothermia and, to this day, can't actually recall finishing. Ended up in a French hospital with no ID on me, no currency etc etc... To cut a long story short ended up discharging myself from the hospital and hiking back several miles to the finish point of the swim. It was blisteringly hot and in no time the sweat was dripping from me. Hypo- and hyperthermia in record time! Yes, quite an experience!

PeirsolFan
September 18th, 2005, 03:23 AM
Running into people who are sharing a lane with me is never fun. I feel like such an idiot but you just can't see as well backwards and upside down! Sometimes I'll get the "ugly stare" - people think you do it on purpose and/or they're completely offended at being touched of course.

I literally swam up onto the legs of a woman doing freestyle just ahead of me in the lane. Not once, but twice. She was very understanding and I apologized profusely. No matter how good I get at steering, mastering the art of sharing a lane with crawlers evades me.

Let me take this chance to apologize beforehand... I really am sorry and it really is embarassing. Still learnin'.

Graham Short
September 24th, 2005, 05:13 AM
It was my first competition, nearly 50 years ago. The race was 100 yards freestyle and the pool was 33 and one-third yards long (3 lengths to the 100y)

I finished second in the heat - just .5 of a second behind the boy in the next lane to me. I felt sure that I could beat him in the final. When the final came I was ready. At the second turn, with one length to go I was slightly behind this swimmer in the next lane. I felt great, I'd saved myself for this last length and was ready to blast him out of the water!

Suddenly, at the turn, I was grabbed by the shoulder. The pool attendant shouted, "You'll have to get out now. We haven't got time to finish the three lengths. The pool is closing soon. well done, you were second!"

My first competition, and cheated out of the gold medal.

Graham

Bob McAdams
September 24th, 2005, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Graham Short
Suddenly, at the turn, I was grabbed by the shoulder. The pool attendant shouted, "You'll have to get out now. We haven't got time to finish the three lengths. The pool is closing soon. well done, you were second!"

My first competition, and cheated out of the gold medal.

I must be missing something. Just how long would it have taken for you to swim an additional 33 1/3 yards?


Bob

geochuck
September 24th, 2005, 01:41 PM
My worst experience was reading some of Ion Breza's posts.

scyfreestyler
September 26th, 2005, 12:42 PM
Got into a car accident last night on our way home from the Alan Liu Memorial Meet. Not our fault but it jacked up my wife's back and put a damper on an otherwise festivious day.

tomhendersonfl
September 28th, 2005, 11:23 AM
Used to live at Venice beach in LA. One day after running a few miles along the beach, I decided to go for a swim in the very cold ocean to cool down (I was not a regular swimmer in those days). There had been a very big storm the day before and the breakers were in the six foot range. Got out beyond the breakers OK and swam around for a while, but started to get real tired and leg cramps so decided to head back to shore. I got within about 100 feet of the shore and got stuck right where the waves were breaking in about 8 feet of water. Waves were coming fast so every few seconds I would have to turn and dive into a wave to avoid getting slammed and then try to make a little forward progress before the next one, but rip current was preventing me from going anywhere.

I quickly realized that I was in trouble, so had to yell for help, which was very embarrassing. Not many people around but someone finally saw me and went looking for help. But I was so tired by then I knew I couldn't make it until help arrived. So I looked for a really big wave and with my last remaining strength, I was somehow able to body surf it just far enough to get my feet on the ground. Then I dragged myself the remaining 50 feet or so to shore and collapsed. I didn't completely lose consciousness but was very close.

The lifeguards arrived shortly and they had to take me home in their dune buggy. I was pretty much a vegetable the rest of the day, but fine the next day. I've had a lot more respect for the ocean ever since.

Jani Sutherland
September 28th, 2005, 11:27 AM
I was in Cabo last spring, swimming in the ocean which I love. I was watching a school of fish swim by when I came face to face with a very large black object, probably an elephant seal. Thank goodness he was more interested in the school of fish than in me. The rest of the swim consisted of a lot of bilateral breathing looking for him!!

swimr4life
September 28th, 2005, 11:59 AM
I was swimming in my first AAU meet at the age of 14. My crazy coach entered me in the 200 FLY!!! My mother said she thought she would have to jump in to save me. Somehow, I finished the race!! I literally thought I was going to die and to this day, I refuse to swim that event!! :rolleyes:

geochuck
September 28th, 2005, 12:10 PM
Not my worst but most recent is swimming at Boca De Igauna in Mexico coming in contact with the the resident croc Poncho out of his pond and in the ocean about ten feet from me.

tjburk
September 28th, 2005, 01:04 PM
1981 - So Cal HS 3A Swim Championships....Went into the meet seeded 3rd in the 100 Breast.....was still 3rd after the prelims going into finals. The night of finals, standing up on the blocks, waiting for the GUN to go off (they were using an electronic starter at East L.A. City College), the starter goes off...everybody takes off except for WHO? Yes....yours truly!!!! Dead last at the 50, but pulled out a 3rd by the end!!! Talk about a little bit pissed off!!!!! Coach just shook his head and smiled...no comment was necessary!

Jeff Commings
September 28th, 2005, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Graham Short
Suddenly, at the turn, I was grabbed by the shoulder. The pool attendant shouted, "You'll have to get out now. We haven't got time to finish the three lengths. The pool is closing soon. well done, you were second!"

My first competition, and cheated out of the gold medal.

Graham

I must be missing something, too. Why didn't they just not start the race? I'm sure someone knew that time was running short.

This story sounds fishy to me.

gull
September 28th, 2005, 01:47 PM
Then afterwards, a beautiful Swedish girl came over to console him and...well, you know the rest of the story.

jswim
September 28th, 2005, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by 330man
Got into a car accident last night on our way home from the Alan Liu Memorial Meet. Not our fault but it jacked up my wife's back and put a damper on an otherwise festivious day.

Whoa!.. sorry to hear that.. I hope you and your wife are alright.
:(

jswim
September 28th, 2005, 02:23 PM
My worst experience (that I can think of right now) was in middle school I went with a friend to her family's vacation house in Long Island. We were swimming around not too far from shore in about waist deep (for me at the time) water when a giant wave hit and swallowed me.. for about 10 seconds I had no idea which way was up and I felt like I was in a washing machine, or enduring a very intense exfoliation treatment!...

Fortunately her father waded over, fished around with his hand and pulled me out of the water gasping.. whew! That was a very long 10 seconds or so.. (and it was probably actually shorter than that, but I sure was scared at the time!)

:rolleyes:

swimlong
September 29th, 2005, 12:57 AM
definitely happened early this July...

I was a "drop in" swimmer at a Masters practice when I was working out of town...I smashed (and I mean smashed...) my heel on the opening of a bulkhead - VERY painful, humiliating, and a long time to heal. It took the rest of the summer before I could put full weight on it...

Meli
September 29th, 2005, 01:11 AM
It was my first time on a swim team (was the summer between 3rd and 4th grade.) One day, at the beginning of practice, some kid I didn't know decided to push me into the pool. Wouldn't have mattered too much had my wrist not come smashing down on the cement and tile gutter rail.

Um... yeah... that sucker hurt.

Being that I had a swim meet that night (my first ever!) I didn't really say much, but didn't put in a full workout either. I swam a few events that night but remember pulling out of one.

Three days later, I finally say something to my mom about the wrist problem... sure enough, we find out that it's broken.

I missed the rest of the season, and still have problems with the wrist to this day.

swimkim
September 30th, 2005, 11:00 AM
i swam in a solar heated, 50mx25y pool in high school/aau in the late seventies. one day the coaches were all elsewhere and we all put on our fins and swam under the pool covers. we were playing tag, etc. we stayed near the edges and could get a breath at the edge of the pool - overflow gutter system.

then some of us got daring and swam around the middle and pushed the covers up a couple of inches to get a breath. the surface tension held the covers down pretty tight, so it was hard to do this.

well, i was out in the middle of the pool and one of the guys grabbed me from behind and scared my air out of me. i tried several times to push the cover up to get a breath but couldn't. i went back down underwater and swam as fast as i could to the edge - still with my fins on. i blacked out right before the wall. luckily, another guy saw all of this happening and met me at the wall just as i blacked out. he pulled me out of the pool and i gagged and sputtered, but came to and was okay.

it scared us all to death, and we never played under the pool covers again! but, we did try to play on top of them...

AquaShrimp
September 30th, 2005, 04:36 PM
Wow swimkim, thats horrible. Natural selection about took you out!

geochuck
September 30th, 2005, 04:42 PM
When I was a boy we used to swim at the pool on a Tuesday night the night that the pro wrestlers had their wrestling ring set up in the middle of the pool. We would swim under the ring and play tag that is were I had the most horrible thing happen, while under the ring a pretty young girl gave me my first kiss from anyone except my family. Horrifying!!!

After that I was at the pool every Tues night to play tag.

PeirsolFan
September 30th, 2005, 09:19 PM
So my former coach had a story about a highschool team member. The guy was doing 50m backstroke. Right after the start, the guy slips under the ropes and is swimming in the lane of another competitor.

The team is on deck yelling for him to correct his position to no avail. At the last minute he slips back under the ropes and into his own lane. And of course, because he finished the race in the lane he started in, he wasn't disqualified. :D