Why I Swim

By: Aiden L., Maryland

IG: @aidenoline

What is it about that hole constructed out of cement that makes us so passionate? Maybe it’s the water filled with a chemical, or perhaps the plastic lane lines that we love to smash our hands on. The fascination of this manmade structure is so odd but yet has a cult-like following that has been going on since humans discovered water.

Racing in the poolTo me a pool is all of these things, and more. It’s getting up at 4:30 in the morning and practicing for an hour before school and then going back afterword. It’s the immediate feel of the water when you dive in and feel like no one can stop you.

So why do we enjoy this so much? We strive to swim. Swimming is not just a sport or a hobby it is a life that you inherit. I swim for much more than just the feel of standing on the podium or receiving a medal. I swim to complete myself. When I get in the pool to race, I remember all of the times that people have told me that I can’t do something, how I can’t do a sport like football or baseball because I can’t catch.

However, in this object, the pool, this is my battlefield. On this battlefield everyone is striving to be first, there is no second. There is so much energy here, it is like a pep rally or a championship game, except, something is different.

Here the tables have turned. In this pool you can forge your name into the wall you turn on and the block you fly off of. Here, in this concrete arena you have a chance to show everyone how you can push your body to the absolute limit. No matter who you are in this sport, you have a chance to show yourself and your fans how fast you really are.

In swimming you don’t need a million social media followers or a book about yourself to have fans, your fans are your team, your family, your friends. No matter how big or small you are they are there for you, they help that energy bubble and boil inside of you. As they yell and scream while you step onto that block to start, you can feel that energy. In a way it empowers you and makes you want to push harder the louder they yell.

The split second when it’s quiet everything comes together, your practice, your support, and your passion. The start of the race marks that push, the sheer amount of energy being exerted is astronomical.

The feeling of gliding through the water weightless. This is why we swim.

The moment of pushing the water behind you to propel yourself faster and faster. This is why we swim.

Pushing off the wall as hard as you can trying to push yourself even harder. This is why we swim.

Taking that last breath and pushing with everything you have left in your entire body. This is why we swim.

In the end, touching that wall and feeling like the world champion with your friends, team, and family cheering for you and knowing you accomplished this. This is why I swim. 

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