4 Reasons Why Swim Friends Are the Best of the Best
By Nicole E. Johnson
Having a best friend is one of the greatest feelings in the world. They’re someone you’ve grown up with and been able to experience life with. As a swimmer, an even better feeling is having a swimmer best friend.
When your best friend is also a swimmer, you just get each other. You have someone to wake up with early in the morning and get a few thousand yards in before school. They know better than anyone else what kind of mood you’re going to be in when you step into the locker room before practice. And most of all, it makes you feel like you’re not doing it all alone.
Sometimes swimming best friends start off as rivals and eventually figure out that they have more in common than they’d like to admit. Other times, they click right from the start.
My best swim friend and I are a healthy combination of both. We first started swimming together when we were nine years old. At that point, the only thing I knew about her was her name and that she was the only other girl in my lane that was basically the same speed as me. We quickly became friends once we started carpooling to practice every day. Ever since then, we’ve been best friends on deck and in the water. From lane buddies to medicine ball partners, we always have each other’s backs.
Since my best friend and I are around the same speed in most events, we were able to help push each other at meets. I can still remember the look on my coach’s face when he saw that my best friend and I swam our race within .02 seconds of each other. He always jokes around with us that we drive really far away to compete at meets and that we end up just swimming next to each other and almost getting the same times we do in practice.
No one is able to push me like my best friend does. She has her own unique way of keeping me motivated and encouraging me to do my best. She knows the right things to say to me before a race and it means much more than just a parent yelling “good luck” from a few lanes down.
She keeps me entertained during practice with occasional laughs at the wall in between sets. We joke about always having to be in the same lane at practice or else we wouldn’t be able to function, and sometimes that has a little bit of truth to it.
4. They just get it.
Aside from things related to practice, I’ve also really enjoyed being able to have someone who understands why I’m never available to hang out and why I eat more than the average human. She doesn’t notice when I smell like chlorine because she’s just as immune to the smell as I am. She knows that if I don’t answer her text message after a few minutes that I most likely already fell asleep because practice was exhausting. She’s the only friend of mine who doesn’t have to ask me if I “won my swim meet” or if I’m as fast as the Olympians. She just gets it.
If I didn’t have my best friend alongside me throughout my swimming career, I honestly don’t know if I would have made it through. That’s cliche, but it’s true. With the thousands of hours that swimmers put into the pool, it’s been so rewarding to have someone who has done it all with me. Now after our first year swimming apart in college for the first time, nothing has changed. I’m still so blessed to have her as a major part of my swimming career.