1. Feeding: We eat a lot, do not take it personally if we gobble down a whole pizza after a two hour practice. We are deeply sorry for whatever jealousy or envy it causes. It does also take a us a while to ingest a meal of that size. For some of us it might take us two hours to eat dinner. It is our responsibility to let you know we still love you even if you can’t sit at the table and watch us eat for two hours.
2. Sleeping: More often than not, when we are out of the water, we are walking around like zombies, this usually occurs during heavy training periods when we are doing two practices a day. You might also notice us clutching an energy drink like it a Freudian security blanket. This only happens during peak training periods, once tapering starts, the inverse is in effect where we have too much extra energy (more on that later).
3. Driving: during periods of peak training, our ability to operate heavy machinery is impaired. We might ask you for a ride home after a training session. Many swimmers have had problems with automobiles due to extreme exhaustion. We are very grateful for air bags.
4. Domestic Bliss: If you happen to have the good fortune to live with one of us on a regular basis, please give us our own bathroom. It takes a lot of energy and calories to get those abs. After all that fuel is spent it has to go somewhere. It is our responsibility to prevent it from becoming a miniature Chernobyl.
5. Attention (or lack there of): If it looks like we are completely ignoring you, we are not. Either we have water in our ears and can’t hear full sentences or we are so exhausted that getting out of bed is an Olympic event.
6. Labido: Due to the increased oxygen intake our libidos will spike. Due to the extreme exhaustion, and extreme stamina a number of things might happen.
6a. Autopilot: You might find us lying next to you passed out cold with the flag at full mast. We recognize that this creates a conundrum from your vantage point. We know our boys can swim, we just hope that some discretion is exercised in whose pool they swim. This is to prevent paternity suits.
6b. Energizer Bunny: Due to the increased oxygen, we have ridiculous stamina. If you still find the flag pole at full mast after eight hours, its okay, you took care of us very well. Its just has to do with the oxygen and how it super charges the blood flow in our core muscle groups.
6c. Save the horse, ride the cowboy: We know you love the abs and flexibility, just a note of caution, some of us guys need sex the night before the meet to de-stress, (I personally am not one of them, I eat a plate of pasta and pass out), just a word or caution, we need our legs for the next day so you can ride the cowboy just don’t break the cowboy.
7. Hand-eye-Cordination: Outside of the pool and bed, many of us are not that nimble. We can lift heavy objects, just please do not ask us to carry multiple small objects all at once. Because it will end in tears.
8. Shaving: For those of us that have wookies and sasquatches in our family tree, this can at times be a four-hour-long process. We are aware of the stubble issue and do our best keep it to a minimum. The usual trick is to wipe down with rubbing alcohol after. More often than not it will cause us to scream like a little girl because it does burn to some degree but it cleans out the pores very well. If you do find your hand lotion missing, odds are we took it to smooth out the rough spots.
9. Tappering: This the training period roughly three weeks before a big meet where we drop off in yardage considerably. It varies on the stroke and program we are swimming. This means a ton of extra energy, where before during high yardage periods where we once zombies, we are now hyper-active puppies climbing the walls.
10. Post-Meet Celebrating: All bets are off, everybody is different. It depends on the outcome, if you just accomplished a major goal, everything will look good to you. Beer, food, the opposite sex, essentially the adrenaline will just take over for the eight to ten hours following the event. If its the end of career, you might find us staring blankly at a wall drinking a beer. We also might be zombies because we have not slept in three days due to nerves. We will fall asleep in your arms at some point though. If we don’t wake up when you do, please let us sleep and leave us a note, because in the end, we are just happy to be alive and you are there next to us.
Sincerely, Adam Hennessey