I spent my teenage years at the pool - swim practice every afternoon and 2 mornings a week before school and on Saturdays (when we were not at swim meets). My goal was to represent the US at the Olympics - 1984..... 200 meter breastroke and either 200 meter Individual medely or 400 meter medely. But ultimately that wasn't to happen. But what I did learn was self discipline and organization. That and dedication. And those skills have served me quite well in my adult years.
During the summers I taught swim lesson and coached 2 different summer swim teams. That was in addition to my own training schedule. Looking back now I am positive all the chlorine affected my brain!!! :-) I am also convinced that it permanently bleached my skin and that is why I cannot get a good tan in the summer (I think my Irish ancestry probably has more to do with that than the chlorine but it makes for an interesting story).
I used to hate PE class in high school - why? Because when I would sweat I smelled like chlorine and my classmates would tease me. All I could do was retort back that at least I smelled "clean" when I sweated and didn't stink like they did!
For many years I didn't know how to get in a pool and just enjoy it - I felt compelled to swim laps. I am well over that nowadays but it took a while.
What am I glad is that the discipline I learned has stayed with me. And while I didn't make it to the Olympics and I missed Junior Nationals by a fingernail (literally .01 of a second) I did achieve much more than I recognized at the time. Life skills that I still have with me today.
And that chlorine smell...yeah...it has finally faded! :-)
Susanna, I too trained at swimming from the ages of 10 - 16 when I commenced my nursing training. I trained in the outdoor pool for 8 months a year and swam 4 miles before school & another 4 after school! As a blonde, the chlorine turned my hair green, which really complimented my sunbruned nose! Thanks for sharing your story.
Suzanna the swimmer! Who knew? I had no idea choline did that with sweat. I can definitely see were you get that competitive nature. It definitely has and will serve you well.