The last swim competition I attended was sometime during early 2001, and while it was weird to think that I never had to strap on goggles and dive in, it was easy to turn my back with no intention of ever turning around. Burned out and generally in search of a different life, it felt great (little did I know I'd eventually make that 180 and jump back in... possibly deeper).
I ask all the swimmers out there to think back through your swimming youth and remember all the things you promised yourself you would never do again
- swimming before school/ work and early on the weekends
- training on Christmas day and every other holiday
- stroking through water so cold your vision goes slightly blurred
Well, I made those same promises and have broken each of them feeling great about it every time. Up before 6am twice a week (soon to be three days/ week) to get in 2500m plus before work, closed pool on Christmas day (really? why would they do that?) and empty streets makes a great excuse for a transition bike to run session, fall/ winter pool sessions in any number of London's open air lido's (some heated, some not, sometimes with a wetsuit and sometimes not).
I've now realized that when I walked away at 18, it was only for a break. I've had a breather and have to get back to what is undeniably a part of my DNA. For this, I thank my parents for starting me in the sport, my friends for the laughs and support each step of the way and most of all the coaches who led the path and knowingly or not helped shape the work ethic, discipline and competitive spirit that push me through 140miles of swim, bike, run at the end of July this year.