I’m not talking about endorsements for attractive athletes. While I am expecting my agent to call me any minute now with some juicy endorsement offers (in case you didn’t know Saturday I Swam Under the Bridge 2.4 miles in open water along with 524 other fanatics.)…so far there are no offers. It could happen, though. But this is about what got me swimming in the first place. And why you should be swimming, or running, or involved in some sort of sport on a semi-serious basis. Today.
My parents signed me up for my first swim team when I was six and living in the Atlanta ‘burbs. I enjoyed it, swam well, but I was never an exceptionally fast swimmer (i.e. not high school team member, much less college scholarship material.) After swimming on many summer teams, I quit around age 16.
The next time I found myself swimming laps with a coach was in November, 2005, right after the initial break-up of my marriage. Swimming in that masterclass in Caracas was gloriouslty therapeutic; often we swam under the stars or in misty rain. It was a curious mix of teenaged boys training for their polo team and middle-aged women. I don’t have to tell you which group swam more and faster.
Fast forward to now, I’ve been swimming ever since then but I increased the number of lengths from 70 to 100+ when the stock market crashed. I had learned the value of physical exertion for processing negative emotions. It’s far more fun and costs less $$ than seeing a psychotherapist (not that therapists can’t help you.)
Here’s why you should be moving your body in a serious way. (Hint: not to lose weight.)
The discipline of practicing a sport always makes you faster/stronger and better at that sport. Getting involved in an amateur event helps you stick to it through the excruciatingly boringness of practice. The event helps you structure and organize your exercise program and it’s so much fun to go through the event rituals.
Did you know that distance swimmers put Vaseline under their arms and between their legs to protect against so much friction? Me neither. Nor did I know that Nike makes special swim suits for distance swimming. They’re called "endurance swim suits." Plus I got my number written on my arm in big numbers, in case I passed out someone would know how to identify me.
There’s really a link between making money and participating in amateur sports.
As you know from setting goals, some come rather easily to you while others elude you over and over again. It seems you’re caught between either giving up or feeling a tremendous frustration for failing repeatedly.
While failure is an integral element of success, the discipline of participaing in a sport will have a positive ripple effect in all other areas of your life.
Plus you get to eat more!!!!!!!!
Playing a sport makes you a more engaging speaker, a more attractive leader, a more energetic person to hang out with. Your energy is the single most powerful resource you have!
That’s superstar photographer Nancy Dowdall in the picture with me. We had so much fun that day!
Swimming really can make you money. I know it’s helped fuel the growth of Mixonian Institute. What sport do you practice? Share by commenting below!