10 Reasons Why Swimming Is The Best (And The Worst) Sport
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Swimming is the best sport ever. It could also be the worst sport ever. Swimming allows you to eat 8,000 calories a day. It also makes you smell as though you’ve bathed yourself in abrasive disinfectants and morphs you into a nap-crazed zombie with an insatiable appetite. 

Here are 10 reasons why swimming is the best – and maybe the worst – sport ever: 

1. Swimming makes you equal parts confident and awkward.

That’s just what happens when you spend part of your day half-naked wearing Spandex in public.

2. Swimmers see more sunrises than anyone else. 

On the one hand, swimmers see more sunrises than 90% of the population. On the other, witnessing that beautiful and majestic sunrise occurs while swimming/puking/freezing/shivering/regretting life.

3. Swimming makes you smarter. Or does it?

An Australian study reported that kids who swim are more advanced than their non-swimming counterparts. However, too much chlorine may severely damage the brain cells, as evident by Ryan Lochte’s recent tweet:

4. Swimmers are the cleanest athletes in sports.

Literally. Swimming in chlorine is like body-soaking in abrasive disinfectants. Unfortunately, you’ll always smell like you soak yourself in abrasive disinfectants, and other people (loved ones, co-workers, potential spouses) will inevitably wonder: why?

5. Swimming makes you sexy. It also makes you broke.

Swimming destroys your body fat percentage, but it also destroys your grocery bill. Sure, you’ll have abs like Channing Tatum. You’ll also spend half your paycheck at the grocery store on bacon, pasta, and Nutella, the latter of which you’ll likely finish before you even get home.

6. You can swim forever.

I once watched a 92-year-old woman with severe arthritis in her hip swim two miles, a routine she does every day. If an arthritis-inflicted 92-year-old great-grandmother swims two miles a day, you have no excuse not doing a 1,000-yard, 15-minute warm-up for the rest of your life.

7. Swimming is the ultimate escape… kind of.

When you swim, you’re literally immersed inside a quiet, refreshing, technology-free element. There are no cell phones. No email. No Bachelorette recaps. Instead, you must endure floating rogue hairballs, 3-month old band-aids, huge globs of mucus, and, of course, other swimmers’ pee. So while swimming is a nice respite from the real world, nothing says “real world” like some elderly person’s toe band-aid floating into your mouth.

8. Swimming is the most popular sport in the Olympics. But you can’t watch it live.

You know something’s wrong when you can watch live episodes of America’s Got Talent but not live swimming in the Olympics. What’s the reward for making swimming the most successful Olympic sport in U.S. history? Tape delay!

9. Swimmers train 10,000 hours to drop .01 second.  

The average swimmer by college graduation trains 10,840 hours to swim a race that can be decided by one one-hundredth of a second. Slightly insane, but also poetic. 

10. Swimming is like flying.

It’s like that quote: "I cannot fly, but swimming is the next best thing. The water is my sky." Most swimmers are just superheroes who have to settle for the nearest pool. So the next time you go swimming, close your eyes. Enjoy the weightless freedom and liberation. Swimming is the best sport in the world—it feels just like flying.

But sometimes, unfortunately, it also feels like pee.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Mike Gustafson is a freelance writer and video producer. He is a regular contributor to USASwimming.org, Splash Magazine, and has produced web series for AT&T, Wasserman Media Group, and USA Swimming. He also co-owns a bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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