But I was never a really outstanding swimmer. I was good but not outstanding. And I was definitely the kid that swam much harder in practice than at swim meets. I was disciplined and determined and very, very committed to swimming (many thanks to my flexible and generous parents). And yet when it came to the 'race' or the 'event', I didn't really have 'it'. I wouldn't 'choke' but it took so much to better my times. I would often win my events (200 IM or the 500 free) but swimming faster at a swim meet was just too challenging. In fact, I can still conjure up that butterflies-in-the-stomach-I-might-vomit feeling just thinking about how I would feel before a race.
Today I still swim. Maybe twice a week. Nothing like I used to but I still love that feeling of getting wet (and possibly chlorinated) and pretending that I don't need a lot of oxygen to swim. I love that feeling of being streamlined or hydrodynamic......or pretending to feel that way.
And now I have the exceptional bonus of watching Mr. Phelps and his swimming talent. And I'm so proud that the 'greatest Olympian ever' is a swimmer.