Being in the water is unlike anything else. When you’re swimming, your responsibilities temporarily fade away, the daily grind becomes irrelevant and the world seems to just disappear.
For the past month, I got to experience that feeling every day. No matter how tired I felt or what my schedule looked like, I committed to swimming over 100,000 meters in just 30 days!
And, one month later, I swam over 110,000 meters and raised more than $1,000 for the Movember Foundation. This is a story of not only how I was able to swim every single day, but why I did this challenge in the first place, and the impact it had on my life!
Learning from Failure
In 2019, I tried to swim 100,000 meters and fell short. In a video about my experience, I shared that failure is something we all experience. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, it should be embraced.
Related: I Tried to Swim 100k in One Month and Failed
Whether it’s missing the wall on a flip turn, getting disqualified in your best event or flunking an exam at school, failure is something that we all experience and it’s totally normal.
Sometimes failure is a reality check to keep us humble and motivated. Other times, failure just downright sucks. Regardless of how you fail, or what you fail in, what’s most important is what you do next!
With a renewed motivation to hit 100,000 meters, I made a plan to conquer my goal this year!
I would swim every single day. No excuses! I needed to average at least 4,000 yards per day, which is about 3.5 kilometers or 2.2 miles. Some days I swam twice, changing up my workouts for variety’s sake and to reduce stress on my body.
I followed a structured workout routine to stay on track and keep myself accountable to swimming the full distance. Rather than swim continuously for 4,000 yards every session, I broke it up. I wrote out my workouts the day before in the MySwimPro app and loaded the workout onto my Apple Watch at the pool before each session.
I’ve never appreciated having a coach on my wrist as much as I did during this challenge. Some days I really wanted to get out early, but I had my coach pushing me to complete the next set!
Swimming every single day was a new experience for me. Normally I swim three times per week and mix in a dryland routine three or four times per week out of the water. Even in college, we would only swim six days per week and have one day off to recover. So this challenge was definitely uncharted waters…pun intended!
Benefits of Swimming Every Day
What happens to your body when you swim every day with no days off? Do you grow gills? Do your arms fall off?
While I didn’t grow any gills (at least that I know of), I did develop an incredible feel of the water. The more time you spend in the water, the more refined this feel becomes. As soon as you stop swimming, you start to lose this feel of the water.
Related: Why I Swim Every Day
And, the longer you’re away from the water, the longer it will take for you to get that feel back. Because I averaged less than 24 hours between each swim, I felt an incredible connection to the water by the end of the month.
Beyond feeling strong in the pool, I also experienced tons of health benefits. During these 30 days, my vital lung capacity improved, my average resting heart rate dropped and I also got faster! My average swimming pace dropped about 10% by the end of the month. I was able to swim faster with less energy just by improving my feel of the water and my aerobic capacity.
The endorphins were an added bonus, too. I always left the pool with a smile on my face!
If you have not experienced the joy of swimming every day, I highly recommend it. Even if it’s just for a week. The beauty of swimming is that you can do it at any age, unlike other sports that are high impact.
Making a Difference
Swimming every day helped me develop a routine, disconnect from the daily grind, and build my character and mental confidence. But it also helped me raise awareness for an important cause.
As part of my challenge, I raised over $1,000 for the Movember Foundation to support men tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health challenges and suicide.
My donation link is still active here. If you donate less than $1 for every 1,000 meters I swam, that’s a $100 donation to a great cause!
If you can’t donate, follow me on social media for a behind the scenes look at my swimming journey and my life as CEO of MySwimPro.
Remember, whenever you think you’ve failed, reframe it as an opportunity to learn, grow and do better next time.
Great work! Very inspiring! Keep it up! 👏👏👏
I can clearly relate. Prior to COVID-19 I swam Monday – Friday, 1 hour each day. I too worked out a plan of swimming for my hour, mostly free an back. My goal was to complete the hour, get flexible enough so as to stave off Arthritis.
Since COVID-19 the pool reopened with time limits of less than the hour that I had grown accustomed to. It has taken some time but I’ve finally got back to 3/4 of a mile in about 45 minutes.
I’m sure that’s slow for a youngster like yourself. With cracked and chipped vertebrae from an accident, Arthritis and in my 70’s I’m swimming 3 days a week for whatever time I can get.
Only had a couple of challenging days, but I’m still swimming! Thanks for sharing.
I am swim usually every day, but as I go through my 60’s I need more recovery and recovery time with Epsom soaks, my electric stim unit, and specific exercises from PT, Yoga, Pilates and light freeweights. The more the chronological calander goes up the more I nap, roll, and use my heating pad. It’s tough! Joan C Masters swimmer
Sounds like you have a great recovery routine to keep your body feeling good! Awesome work!
I swim 1000 yards every day for many years. Now I’m 78 and slowing down. What can you recommend to get my speed back I used to do it in 30 minutes or less now I’m lucky if I finish in forty