"born again swimmers"

"born again swimmers"

Post by Jeremy Whitehur » Mon, 13 Jan 1997 04:00:00


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|       -  Dr. Jeremy Whitehurst  | Sound & Vision BBS [+44] (0)181-288-8444 |

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"born again swimmers"

Post by Jeremy Whitehur » Mon, 13 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Dear all,
I have read this newsgroup for a few months and I feel that it is probably
the most well balanced and informative newsgroup I have ever subscribed
to ! (I know I have bad taste !)
I suppose the most influential aspect is the number of masters swimmers
who have come back to the sport - as I have.
I competed up to National level in the UK in backcrawl -BUT  found women and
beer and got married. I then came back to swimming and I really enjoy the
social and fitness aspects of masters swimming as oppose to the competitive
elements of my younger days.  In fact I am actually put off competing in
masters, because I enjoy the training and social aspects as oppose to the
competitive nature of swimming.  I recently completed my ASA (amateur swimming
associations) teachers badge, only to find that the parental pressure on both
teachers/coaches and more importantly the swimmers to be so narrow minded that
I do not feel inclined to teach competitive swimming.
Why should swimming be a sport that is often rejected at an early age(16-18) ??
 Does swimming have an image problem ?
For example a recent comment after Manchester was awarded money to build
 a swimming complex funded by the national lottery was that
it was a waste of money "as swimming could not be classed as a spectator sport".

To summarise, why do I enjoy swimming (which I am good at) and I enjoy
jogging (which I am not good at)  and I enjoy cycling (which I go on holiday
to do) and yet all these sports either individually or combined I am either
ridiculed or made to feel that they are second class pursuits ? compared to
football, hockey, athletics, or baseball/basketball or
even darts or snooker (pool).That is the sports programmes use them as
filler material

Is this the UK's attitude to sport or is it worldwide ?  and does anybody
else just enjoy the freedom of moving efficently through water,or taking
part in a triathlon very relaxing after a hard day at work,- or do we all
need to know our last personal best time ?

Whilst I am fast ( 30 years old 56 secs 100 M freestyle) I am scared of
competing - because I feel that I will lose the enjoyment again !
odd I know - but any comments ? - my coach has many !!

A response would be welcomed as Swimming can be a lonely sport !

=---------------------------------.------------------------------------------=
|       -  Dr. Jeremy Whitehurst  | Sound & Vision BBS [+44] (0)181-288-8444 |

=---------------------------------.------------------------------------------=

 
 
 

"born again swimmers"

Post by E. Anne G. Dida » Tue, 14 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Interesting post, Jeremy.  Here in the "colonies" swimming is a very minor
sport, with a "short attention span theater" audience who watch every four
years.  Even the interposition of large sums of money for swimming events
would not, in my opinion,  lead to a large increase in the number of
people who are involved in serious swimming.
Regarding your comments about what we in the states refer to as "little
league parents", I think you need to spend some more time reflecting on
those issues.  I would bet a pint that your father and mother often dreamed
of you swimming in the Olympics or setting world records.  Sounds like you
came relatively close.   But the point is should you declare that those
dreams should not exist for every other parent and child?  Now that's
dreaming!!!!  My daughter is a fair age group swimmer.  She will go to the
Olympics.  She will set at least 5 world records!!. Right? Of course not,
but every parent dreams for his/her children.  Without dreams this would be
a barren overrated planet.  Little league parents have dreams that have
partially taken over their lives. (I know, my dreams own my life.)  But the
outward manifestations of those dreams are, for the most part, harmless.  A
great coach will have those parents  participating in those dreams in a
very real, and helpful way.  Such as keeping the kids times, or officiating
at meets.  Yes, a few parents will have to be ***d. Uh, just speaking
symbolically, of course. :)  If you love swimming, and are willing to live
on a small allowance, I think it is a noble profession that calls upon all
the talents of a psychologist, Olympic swimmer, Nobel Peace Prize
recipient, and Solomon.
Distance swimming, running, and biking are enjoyable to highly disciplined
people who have a "Zen-like" appreciation for their bodies.  The endorphin
high is also quite ***ive for people who are accustomed to delaying
gratification in so many other areas of their lives.  I think the really
interesting aspect of your post is your fear that competition will not
enhance your well-being, but may lessen the pleasure of your athletic
experiences.  As every competitor knows, fear at the starting gate can be
quite strong.  Performance anxiety is very real at all ages, but the mature
athlete starts to integrate his life in his 20's and put athletics in a new
perspective.  You note your 100 times, which means you still take pride in
the speed quality of your workouts.  Your ambivalence suggests you are
wrestling with your fear of not being as good as you were at one time.
When you are able to compete, and try your hardest, and accept the result,
then you will have reached an important new plateau in your life.  You are
obviously an astute and thoughtful fellow, but still have mother's milk in
your mouth.  So, unlike Andrew Marvell's Coy ***,  go to those races
and "kick butt"; and like Dylan said in his  poem to his father: "Do Not Go
Gentle Into That Good Night".  -Robert H. Diday, Jr.