- Swimmers don’t sweat
Everybody sweats after hours of training. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. But it has its perks though, you can’t smell the sweat on us and even if you tried, you’ll just smell the chlorine.
- You are the next Michael Phelps
There is only one Michael Phelps and he’s the most decorated athlete with staggering 22 medals in the Olympics. I’ve heard this a lot back then and it kinda peeves me for the fact that they say this because this was the only famous swimmer they know and they try to say sentences like, “Ang galing mo! Para kang si Michael Phelps!”, “Ahh oo! Si Michael Phelps yung gumagawa ng parang sa palaka *does breaststroke pull*”, and my absolute hate “Oo naman may kilala akong mga swimmers, si Michael Phelps at yung Ryan someone.” They would say that whether you are a boy or a girl.
- You win if you touch the wall first
This was the common thinking of my non-swimmer friends in high school. One time, a classmate of mine said, “Diba basta pag ikaw yung unang natapos, panalo na?” and when I explained that there are disqualifications, other heats and best times, my classmate just nodded and went on his/her merry way. I can’t blame them though, ignorance, as they say, is a bliss.
- If you can swim, you can save anyone from drowning
It is different thing to know how to swim in a competitive environment and to swim and save lives. Not all swimmers can save lives and not all people who can save lives are swimmers, it is a vice versa sort of understanding. Whenever there was a gala which involves pools and I was there, some of them would say, “Ok lang yan, andyan naman si Vera* eh. Sasagipin ka nyan.” and I don’t know what to say or feel because I have no idea how to save people from drowning.
- Taller swimmers are faster
Now this is just wrong. Not all medal-earning swimmers have 6-foot-5 height. Height does not mean everything in swimming because your speed is dependent not on the height factor but on the effort factor in trainings.
- It’s easy to become a swimmer
This is a big nope. It’s easier said than done because people who are competing now faced several hours, days, weeks, months or even years to be in the state they are in right now. Swimmers have to learn how to swim faster and harder, breathe quicker or lesser, improve their kicks and long strokes and perfect their start. And training all those, two hours in the morning and another two hours in the afternoon is just grueling.
- Swimmers just swim
We also jog, do land workouts and drills and use stretch cords. We do those to improve our strength and skills. During P.E before, some of my classmates asks why I can do both land and water activities very well and when I tell them I do and workouts, they seem surprised. I can imagine why.
Misconceptions are as harmless as it gets but assumptions can lead to the wrong ideas. Even if you try your best to understand how swimming really works, you wouldn’t really get it just by watching or reading articles like this. Sometimes, you even have to swim for yourself to know the feeling of being a swimmer. So the next time you want to ask a question or say something to a swimmer, make sure what you’re gonna say isn’t based on your ‘I therefore conclude’ speculations.
By: Bea De Vera
Special thanks to my sister for her proofreading skills <3