There’s a lot of trust that goes into lap swimming. I swam with someone new the other evening and as I swam I realized how much anxiety I have swimming with someone new in an unorganized setting. As we had a near massive collision during a turn off the wall, I was immediately thankful for everyone I swam with over the years, my teammates and friends for building a sense of trust in sport.
Most turns are done blindly off the wall. I close my eyes on my turns, a lot while I’m swimming and give the black line the one eyed wink as I close my right eye more than my left. Totally weird, I know, like a pirate of the deep blue! Anyway, I don’t actually look up after a turn until I’m a good 2 or 3 strokes into the next length.
To be able to trust the other people in your lane for the love of sport, subconsciously always know where they are and that they aren’t going to have “the great collide” with you is something I’ve probably taken for granted over the years being in competitive swimming. Sure I have the forever bruise on my left wrist from hundreds of hand collisions and the permanent scars on my right hand from making friends one to many times with the wall, but that massive trauma collision has only happened a few times in life and always swimming with people I didn’t know.
You may not always like your lane mate or trust them to remember a birthday card, but knowing they have the knowledge, training and share the same love of sport, mad trust and respect in the water always. Thank you to all the swimmers I’ve shared a lane with, past, present, and future. The fact we know so many people we can trust in the pool is a true testament to the sport. I’m proud to have swam with all of you, shared moments of triumph and failure, saw the joy for accomplishing a new feat, and supported each other for the DNFs. I’m proud to be involved in this wonderful thing we call swimming and look forward to representing this amazing sport for the rest of my life.