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29 Secrets Swimmers Won't Tell You

Spoiler alert: Everything smells like chlorine.

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1. You have absolutely no shame in being nearly naked around your friends and teammates.

When you have a swimmer's body, who cares?

2. While hard to believe, there actually is no limit to the amount of food you will eat after practice.

To paraphrase Mean Girls, "The limit does not exist!"
Rafael Neddermeyer / Getty Images

To paraphrase Mean Girls, "The limit does not exist!"

3. Putting on a Fastskin suit takes at least twice as long as you think it does.

At least 20 minutes, if we're being honest.

4. There is nothing you dread more in the world than a long course practice.

Adam Pretty / Getty Images

5. If you're a guy swimmer, you secretly like the feeling of shaving your legs for championship season.

6. But if you're a lady swimmer, you have VERY mixed feelings about not shaving your legs for several months.

Jeans and leggings on repeat.

7. No matter how old you get, Sharks & Minnows will forever be your favorite pool game — and a great excuse to end practice early.


8. Timing your relay starts perfectly still makes you very, very nervous no matter how many times you've done it.

Richard Heathcote / Getty Images


9. Tugging on the lane line while swimming backstroke is a delicate art that you have mastered.

NBC Universal / Via

It always works, just so long as your coach doesn't catch you!

10. Swimcest is a very, very real thing.

The inter-team hookups are probably out of control, TBH.

11. You'd rather have your goggles totally fall off than start leaking, to be honest.

Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

12. You totally identify with your stroke/event. You're not just a swimmer; you're a breaststroker, or a sprint freestyler, or an IMer.

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

13. And you feel like a total hot mess when you swim something other than your main events. Being a sprint freestyler trying to swim a 400 IM just doesn't end well.

There is no happy ending to this story.

14. Sometimes, you feel more like a mermaid or a fish than a human being.

Disney / Via

If only you had gills!

15. You've totally swallowed an unhealthy amount of chlorinated water.

At this point, you're just used to it.
Al Bello / Getty Images

At this point, you're just used to it.

16. Tapering is absolutely, positively your favorite time of year.

Taking it easy ALWAYS feels so, so good.

17. Getting up for morning practice, while painful, is actually a badge of honor.

Sam Stryker

18. You can wear a cap, and use special shampoo, but your hair will always feel chloriney.

At least you have abs, though.
Al Bello / Getty Images

At least you have abs, though.

19. Unless your intervals are on 30 seconds or a minute, you are GUARANTEED to lose track of where you are in the set.

Counting is HARD.

20. It feels not weird counting things by 25, 50, and 100.

And in your world, 100 means four. Unless, of course, it just means two.

21. Unless you are a butterflyer, you will do absolutely ANYTHING to get out of a butterfly set.

Two-hundred butterfly? Yeah, I think I'll pass.
Paul Gilham / Getty Images

Two-hundred butterfly? Yeah, I think I'll pass.

22. You can try as hard as you want, but you will ALWAYS smell like chlorine.

23. By this point, you've gotten used to your coach yelling at you. No matter how loud their voice is, you can tune it out.

24. Once you learn that peeing in pools is totally acceptable, your life changes forever.

25. You HATE when you are confused with divers. Like, what is their deal anyways?

They're just really good at falling. BUT THEY AREN'T SWIMMERS.

26. Weird tan lines are just something you've gotten accustomed to.

27. You actually feel no shame in deck-changing, because it's all about efficiency.

Leave your modesty at the door.

28. Dryland workouts are really just proof that you were born to swim and not compete in any sports on land.

AS IF anyone else could be a swimmer, right?

29. And finally, it's practically guaranteed that your teammates will become your family.

Just keep swimming!

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