Monday, June 14, 2010

Swimming? A sport?

My husband and I have an ongoing debate on whether swimming is a real sport.

Granted his misunderstanding that swimming is not a sport comes from one "lucky" New Years Eve night he had before we were married. At the stroke of midnight, he challenged me to a swim off, probably about a 12 1/2-15 yard pool after. We jumped in to start the race and off he went, as I looked over, I couldn't believe my eyes. My very athletically talented husband's swimming technique mirrored one of those wind up fish toys you put in the bath tub. Arms and legs, spinning out of control, water everywhere, creating a wave pool out of our good friends indoor arena. I couldn't help my laughter. I was laughing so hard I had to stop, laugh and catch my breath and that is when he claims he beat me. And technically he did beat me, though I doubt what he even did is called swimming, Sorry George!

Although I believe it is mostly sarcasm, you know if you are a swimmer you know you don't joke about what happens between the walls of the pool, while chasing the black line and the time clock. You don't joke about getting up at 4:30 in the morning, morning after morning, after morning, doing dry land, weights, and having a body fat percent low into the single digits, you just don't joke about that. And my parents don't joke about that either. When we were up, they were up, sacrificing their sleep, driving us to the pool half awake coffee in hand. I think in the begining, my parents spent as much time in the pool as I did.

When can you find a football player or basketball player up at 4:30 in the morning doing 13 workouts a week in the pool alone, not including dry land workouts, weight room workouts and running. Swimming with clothes on, shoes on and a 5 gallon bucket attached to your waist. We worked out to the max all the time. I'd like to see a baseball player survive a 24 hour workout Shoulberg style and at the end complete a 10,000 meter race, or was it a 24,000 meter race, doesn't matter, we did them both. I'm just saying....

The infamous weight struggles of Charles Barkley and C.C. Sabathia just don't happen in the sport of swimming, try swimming a 200 butterfly or a 1650 freestyle with a beer gut weighing you down. And don't get me wrong, I know those sports also take immense skill and conditioning, trust me, I have the hand eye coordination of a bobble doll. But swimmers are not to be reckoned with. I'm just saying.....
And try being out of shape, not having swum in years and completing a workout. Your arms feel like rubber and your body like a lead weight. You won't find too many out of shape swimmers in the Masters swimming programs. But, on a Sunday softball league, they are everywhere, beer guts, bandaged athletes who come out just for the game. Some of them pretty good, like George,who at times bats distances that I dare say, rival Ryan Howard. No seriously, he's good. Real good. Baseball is obviously in his blood and his Sunday baseball game is his zen, his thing, his obsession. But some of them, it seems like they handed in their remote for a bat. And they can still  swing or pitch decently. No workouts, just games.
Imagine not working out and swimming, no racing a 200 of anything? Not gonna happen.
You also won't find a super out of shape swimmer trying to compete, baring a swimsuit and all thinking we'll be able to do it without embarrassment and do it successfully. But maybe we're just smarter than that.
I guess when it comes down to it, we all love the sports we play and are passionate about the sports we love.
But come on, real athlete are swimmers.
I'm just saying.....
George, on the left, in his Sunday ball game.


  1. LOL I got the same thing as a runner. Do you guys belong to a pool? Pennsauken municipal pool is just $70 per person for Merchantville residents...

  2. Running is hard, my sister runs marathons but the longest I've done is a 10k and I totally hit the wall with like a 1/2 mile to go as my sister came running back past me to run with my mom after she finished! LOL!Oh Thanks for the tip. Not a bad price. I was hesitating joining the over priced Woodbine. I'll have to check it out.

  3. I can still remember the certain panic that swept through me as I felt Mike Johnson coming up behind me to pass, no, surely he was lapping me, all those years ago. It was as though Jaws himself were upon me. God, it scared the crap outta me; the momentum, the force, the waves...

    Sorry George, I'm with D. on this one. To say that swimming is not a sport is to say that water is not wet and that indeed, the Pope himself is not Catholic.


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