View RSS Feed

SWIMMER Editorials

The B Word (July-August 2014)

Rating: 9 votes, 5.00 average.
by , July 1st, 2014 at 12:00 AM (3124 Views)
The screech of that 4:45 a.m. alarm is rude. Very rude. But you comply, trying to forget about what awaits you at the pool. If its suitable for aggressive workout swimming, the water will feel chilly. Jumping in it is the second worst moment of the day. The moon is out, your teammates resemble a zombie horde, and if youd stayed in bed dreaming, youd still be gliding across a polished wooden floor with a tall, handsome stranger, kickin it with a fly Viennese waltz.

So what to do when you <gasp> no longer want to get out of bed before dawn and jump into a cold pool? Is taking a break an option?

Nonswimmers have no problem filing Masters Swimming Burnout under first-world problems. Why would anyone want to get up that early anyway? Now you can ____________ (garden, join your homeowners association, take polka lessons), they suggest helpfully.

But once youve invited swimming into your life, its hard to politely show it to the door like a distant relative, effuse about what fun youve had, and tell it you cant wait to see it again next year.

Many swimmers demarcate their lives into BS (before swimming) and S (swimming). In this lifelong sport, Ive yet to meet anyone who wants to consider the permanence of AS (after swimming), so that leaves BTS (between swimming).

So how does one behave in a BTS period? For starters, you might want to consider how youll be meeting the exercise need that your swimmers appetite demands. Super. That will be running and cycling, with a side dish of P90X and a giant slice of Zumba for dessert, please.

What about reducing the number of practices? Maybe if you swim three times per week, instead of five or six? If youre a sprinter, no problem, you might even maintain your current 50 freestyle time for another season with that plan, although you will lose your spot on the B relay. If youre a distance swimmer, your prospects are more dismal. Youll enter the 800 free at nationals with good intentions and feel terrible the entire time, especially when you see the scoreboard.

Even with a reduced schedule, youll still want to stay in touch with your swimming friends, especially your lanemates. But is it proper etiquette to show up for the Saturday post-workout breakfast with dry hair? It happened once on our team a few years ago. We still speak of it only in hushed tones.

What is it about swimming that makes it so hard to have a BTS hiatus? Is it the feeling we get at that perfect moment, right about the 175-yard mark after first jumping in? The chill is ebbing and your skin and soul are cracklingyoure about to reach the nirvana of weightlessness, perfect technique, and that delicate balance between effortless gliding and the grind awaiting you when the warm-up ends. (If only you could fast-forward to breakfast at that point.)

But you stick it out, and as the practice is ending, the sun is rising, the ghoulish pallor of the zombie horde has magically transformed into a flushed, healthy glow and bright smiles, and that amazing sense of accomplishment and renewed vigor reminds you that you could have been sweating it out in a hot yoga studio or waiting for your turn on the leg press at the gym.

But you werent, because youre a swimmer. And whether youre in the thick of a BTS period or not, once a swimmer, always a swimmer. This lifelong sport sticks around like a houseguest that never leaves. And in all honesty, thats just the way we want it, isnt it?

Submit "The B Word (July-August 2014)" to Digg Submit "The B Word (July-August 2014)" to Submit "The B Word (July-August 2014)" to StumbleUpon Submit "The B Word (July-August 2014)" to Google

Updated July 1st, 2014 at 10:33 AM by Editor

Staff Blogs