Whether you swim to get in shape, manage stress or train for competition, there’s one thing all swimmers can agree on: We love this sport!

For Valentine’s Day, we asked our community to share what they love most about swimming in a YouTube Video, and were blown away by the responses! More than 1,000 swimmers shared how the sport has transformed their lives.

To celebrate our love for swimming, we’re sharing some of those remarkable stories below.

“The water gives me a sense of tranquility. I love going to practice everyday, as it’s a time when I get to see my friends but also be alone to be able to work through my thoughts. I’ve loved to swim ever since I can remember and still to this day, it has the ability to undoubtedly put a smile on my face. Swimming gives me a sense of peace and I am grateful to be able to feel that everyday.” –Andrea Cudin

“Swimming is one of the most important things in my life. I grew up going to practice every day after school, and found so much more consistency and support in my swimming home than I did in my actual home. All of the hours staring at the blue line, and pushing myself to reach the wall faster than the day before, taught me so much about hard work and what we can endure. Though I was never the swimmer who would end up at trials, I am the kind of swimmer who has made it their life sport. I will always have the pool, and will always find peace and lessons in my laps.” –Abigail Clarke, Long Beach, California, USA

“Swimming makes me happy and feel good overall! I learned to swim about 5 years ago when I was 44. I took a free, local Aquaphobics class and was so scared I could barely walk by the pool to ask about classes. Needless to say I stuck it out and learned the techniques of swimming. Eventually I learned freestyle, sidestroke, breaststroke and backstroke. I love swimming because I can do it forever!” –Andrea Grimes, South Carolina, USA

“I loved swimming competitively as a child and through college. After college, I took a lengthy hiatus, or ‘retirement.’ Returned to swimming as a result of a diagnosis of degenerative spinal condition. Got brave enough to try a meet and then I was bit by the competition bug again. The feeling behind the blocks before a race, the combination of total confidence, full adrenaline and paralyzing fear is like a drug. Nothing compares to it!” –Michael McNelis, New York, USA

“There are so many reasons I love swimming. It’s a great activity for physical and mental health. But now, going from an age group club swimmer, to national level swimmer, to college student-athlete and now a “swammer” on a masters team, the reason I love swimming is the feel of the water. It’s very comforting for me to be in the water and it’s such a unique feeling. You can’t find the same feeling anywhere else. Swimming is my inner peace!” –Joanna Wu, Seattle, Washington, USA (@j.wu12 on Instagram)

“Swimming has given me a meaning to life. I was lazy, unhealthy and always sitting around. Saw my health go from good to bad. Then I was introduced to MySwimPro and it changed my life!” –Gregorio (@gregorio_0917 on Instagram)

“The water makes me feel free! Also, swimming is an incredible, low-impact full-body workout… I don’t know if there’s a healthier way to exercise than swimming. I train BJJ and it’s so hard on my ribs and joints; It’s great to know that even if I’m nursing an injury, I can hop in the pool and still get a great workout in!” –Chris Lowder, Shanghai, China

“Swimming has always been such a huge part and impact in my life!! Not to be dramatic or anything, but it’s my getaway when I’m feeling low or high. I love the adrenaline, the competition and all the friendships I’ve made through it!!” –Ashley Contreras, El Paso, Texas, USA (@ashleycdenisse on Instagram)

“Getting swim fit has enabled me to face my fear of open water sea swimming. Freedom!” –Marco Manias

“I love swimming because it was part of saving my life. I completed a full Ironman triathlon at 10 months sober and the swim event was amazing. 8.5 years sober now and this year my goal is a 2.3 mile roughwater swim in Hawaii! I use MySwimPro every time I train.” –Rochelle Baxter (@rochellefitnessdance on Instagram)

“I love swimming because I am tall and tend to make myself small (hunchback). When I swim, I am allowed to stretch and reach far, far above my head. I love the feeling of being relaxed and tired after a workout. Swimming is an incredibly gentle workout. Even after long pauses, there is no muscle soreness. I just feel a bit tired. I love the color blue of the water in the pool. I love the gentle resistance of the water. I love feeling my body in the water. Swimming can really relax mentally. It is really slow and slows down thoughts.” –Eleonore Grossman

“I love open water and its infinite variety (“you don’t step in the same river twice”). I’ve completed swims of up to 11 miles, yet also enjoy the laid back camaraderie of my club’s series of six half-mile open water races spread through the summer, the swims, the post-swim barbecue, smelling food cooking as I approach the finish. Where else but the ocean can you swim with dolphins, guests in their home–not a pre-arranged play date, but meeting them as fellow sea creatures!” –DP McManus

Share your swimming story in the comments, or tag us on social media for a chance to be featured! 

If you love to swim — or if you want to get started, download the MySwimPro app on your iPhone, Android or smartwatch! Start your Personalized Swim Training Plan with a subscription of MySwimPro Coach here.

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