lifestyle

5 ways being a swimmer prepares you for life.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an elite athlete or just flopping about from one end of the beach to the other, a swimmer knows their session doesn’t ride on just one stroke, one tumble-turn, one breath.”

Only a swimmer knows the feeling.

The weightlessness glory of gliding through the water. It’s unlike any experience in the world.

And for most of us – it’s free. In every sense of the word.

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing it at the world’s cleanest beach or in the lane of your local pool, there’s something perfectly peaceful about soaring through the water.

importance of swimming
Courtney Bartholomew is a Swimming World College Intern at the University of Virginia (Image: Twitter)

Courtney Bartholomew is a Swimming World College Intern at the University of Virginia and credits swimming for better preparing her for the real world.

So just how does swimming make someone a better human?

1. A swimmer doesn’t hold grudges. They just get on with it.

Swimmers have the unique ability to move on. They don’t sweat the small stuff.

Water that’s a ‘bit fresh’, sand, sticky post-swim clothes, wet hair – none of it is an issue.

None of it phases the swimmer because it’s all about one thing …

The head.

2. A swimmer thinks with their head.

Non-swimmers might think that people take the plunge for their physical health. Sure. But the best thing about immersing in a body of water is what it does for the brain.

A push-off the sand or the back of a pool puts a swimmer ahead of the rest. Problems, thoughts, grievances: almost literally washed away.

Because it’s the only truly perfect way to …

importance of swimming
“A push-off the sand or the back of a pool puts a swimmer ahead of the rest.” (Image: Twitter)
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Switch off.

3. A swimmer knows how to switch off from the world and be in the moment.

There are very few other sports that completely cut you off from technology. Swimmers know how to take a real break from their phones, the computer … and beyond.

It’s hard to be hassled in the depths of the blue. Under the water, surrounded by bubbles, no one can hear buses roaring past, their whinging toddler, a snappy boss or pointless phone pings.

They adore the silence beyond the splash. Perfect peace.

3. A swimmer is patient. The know the rewards of swimming don’t come straight away. Sometimes they take years to achieve.

Bartholomew says the patience of a paddler is incomparable.

“Swimmers are able to delay gratification for prolonged periods of time. We continuously put in the work knowing that the end goal is still months away and is never guaranteed”.

4. Swimmers are the quickest dressers in the world.

A truly talented swimmer has the admirable quality of being able to peel off wet cossies and put on dry clothes without fuss. Their speed, precision and focus at this underappreciated task can be quite impressive.

“A truly talented swimmer has the admirable quality of being able to peel off wet cossies and put on dry clothes without fuss.”

5. A swimmer understands that it’s the big picture that matters.

Bartholomew says, “as swimmers we have a good understanding of the bigger picture … Employers are looking for employees who can learn from their mistakes, and are able to make adjustments to make things better.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re an elite athlete or just flopping about from one end of the beach to the other, a swimmer knows their session doesn’t ride on just one stroke, one tumble-turn, one breath. The swim is about all of these things neatly strung together.

It’s all about the bigger picture: the whole journey from the dive to the unceremonious exit (come on, let’s be honest) is what makes the perfect swim. The perfect outlook.

As summer rolls in, you’ll see them splashing around.

“They’re the best-equipped for this life.”

They have un-glamorous tan lines marking the tops of their backs, zinc buried deep within their pores and straw-like hair. But they’re the best-equipped for this life.

Because they know one thing.

That feeling.

And it’s that organic, incomparable feeling that separates them so beautifully from the rest.

Did you swim as a child? How did it help you in life?

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