This past Monday I have started a block of swim training, as some of the other lads on the team are doing. Finally I will find out which activity is harder, swimming or running.
The debate began back when I was a freshman at The University of Tennessee. Every morning we the skinny distance runners would run by the campus pool and the mens swim team would be swimming, up and down the outdoor pool. They would shout, “Running is easy!”, we would reply, “Swimming is easy!” Then again in the afternoon, the same routine. We would run by and laugh, “Look at them they are doing the back stroke, getting a tan, real hard!!”. Little did I know….
As my time went on at UT, I became friends with some of the swimmers, a few of us lived in the same apartment building so I was able to gain a better appreciation for just how hard they worked. They had their fare share of slackers, those that would hide in the deep end on foggy mornings, just as we had guys that would jog home from morning run rather getting their run in. We had gut wrenching track sessions in the heat, cold, rain, wind, whatever the elements, but that was only a few times week while it seemed the swimmers had hard interval sessions everyday. We had easy days where we got to jog and have good conversation while tanning our backside, they had gorgeous spring days where the pool deck was covered with sorority girls. Swimmers stare at a black line for hours on end, while runners run countless miles all while enjoying the great outdoors.
It takes a kooky person to take up a sport like swimming, just as we have some strange birds that run. Both take hard work and a tremendous amount of dedication to be successful. Maybe that is why out of all the athletes on campus, the swimmers and distance runners seemed to get along the best. We threw the best parties and seemed to have the most fun on a day to day basis. But the debate continues, which one is harder?? Over the next month I hope to find the answer to that question…