Swimming with Perseverance

Read these to learn more about hard working swimmers

By: Faith Mordach

Getting back in the water

"You may never swim again". Those were the words Amy Van Dyken heard after she got in a bad ATV accident in 2014. She took the words her doctor told her and used it for motivation to get better. Long hours of physical therapy and multiple surgeries are just only a couple of the steps she's taking to get back up on her feet and back in the water.

Amy Van Dyken is a six time Olympic gold medalist in many swimming events. But on June 6, 2014 she got in a tragic accident stopping her swimming career for a while. She first started getting back on her feet by laying out her options on what to do first. She decided to start with spinal cord surgery, to make sure she could get better eventually. Next she recovered from her surgery and started physical therapy. She used weight belts and machines to strengthen her back muscles and push herself. Amy goes almost everyday and long hours with physical therapist and different doctors. She also lives everyday to the fullest, never stopping. While she's at physical therapy she pushes herself to do everything and anything that will make her a step closer to getting up and getting back in the pool. The last thing Amy does is staying positive and not stopping on getting better. She always says that that through any injury big or small you should always stay positive and remember that you will get better, if you just keep your mindset on getting better and getting back to your sport.

Amy Van Dyken went from being an Olympic swimmer and gold medalist to a paralyzed patient at physical therapy. She's taking all the steps she can to get herself back on her feet and back to her normal life style.



Solving shoulder problems

Many people throughout the world get shoulder injuries in their career of being a swimmer. I have, a family friend Grant Betulius and many Olympic swimmers have either had a small or big injuries relating to their shoulder. Sometimes injuries can be the worst but many people find solutions, to get them back to their normal activities.

Usually shoulder injuries mean you've been working to hard on it or doing something wrong to hurt it. In my experience with a shoulder injury, I got into the habit of doing a stroke wrong. Also once it started hurting I tried to ignore but it kept getting worse so I had to go to doctors. I worked very hard to get back in the pool and in a couple months it got 100% better. For Grant Betulius he was in the middle of his 200 back when his shoulder popped out of place. He went from being in first to dead last. He kept swimming because his mind was determined to finish. That 200 back was going to be a record at University of Iowa. But it ended up being a problem in his career. Grant worked very hard with trainers to feel better. In a couple months, Grant Betulius got back in the water at college and set the record for the 200 back. A lot of swimmers who get injuries, know it's not a good thing and know that their is a way to get better if you stick to working hard and stick to getting back to your normal activities.

Having a shoulder injury can be very hurtful because you use it in everyday life and especially in swimming. If you just get in your mind that you will be better someday and work hard on getting your shoulder healthy by going to doctors and physical therapy and things like that.

Elizabeth Beisel VS. Missy Franklin

Swimming has some amazing swimmers, even though they have success they can be very different. Missy Franklin and Elizabeth Beisel have both won Olympic medals and worked very hard to get those. Both Missy and Elizabeth started their careers at the young age of thirteen. Elizabeth Beisel made the national team and Missy Franklin made it to the Olympic trials. Both had a couple of amazing years due to there hard work but at some point in both of their lives it was hard.

Franklin is a little bit younger than Beisel, so she had to juggle more school with swimming and traveling. Beisel got into the Olympics a little later in life, so she just had national team training and Franklin had Olympic training. Both of them had to practice long hours and work very hard to get the strokes perfect. If Missy missed a cut or got beat she would never get down about it , she would just get back up and win. Elizabeth on the other hand may get a little and stop trying. These two swimmers have many things in common but also are pretty different but both succeeded. Missy Franklin worked with many teams. In high school she trained with some college teams to get advanced training. Elizabeth Beisel trained with her high school team and sometimes with college teams but with most of the times with her high school. Even though Elizabeth and Missy are different they both have the same work ethic and strong determination.

Both of them never cared where they trained or where everywhere they were they just trained hard and strong. If they had a off day at practice, then the next day they would work twice as hard. If someone beat them in a race or got a faster time, they would go to practice and make sure the next time they race they would win. Both of them are different in many ways but when it comes to reaching goals they work very hard.




What is Olympic Training?

Swimmers who are training for the Olympics have very strict life plans. Food, practices nad lifestyles all change when you make the Olympics. Making healthy choices and having your day planned out is what your life should be. Having lots of protein and getting the right amount of food to keep your body healthy. From the minute they make the Olympics all the way to the day of the actual meet they are focused on working hard to be amazing on the day of the Olympics.

Every Olympic swimmer will tell you that their whole life-style changed when they make the Olympics. Olympians all have different plans. For a sprinter you would do about two hours in the water and for a long distance swimmer you would swim about 12 miles in a practice and much longer hours. For weight training everybody's different. Michael Phelps uses dumbbells to strengthen his shoulders. Dara Torres trains with a trainer and uses medicine balls. After working out Olympic swimmers will usually get a massage or take an ice bath to recover. With eating, they make sure they don't eat to much or to little calories. Swimmers need to eat a balance between carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle growth. Oatmeal, cereal, eggs, toast, yogurt, fruit, ETC. those are all good things to eat before and after practices. Swimmers burn a lot of calories, so they need to make sure of having a healthy diet. On days off swimmers usually do yoga or Pilates to keep their bodies moving. A couple weeks before the big meet swimmers usually taper. Tapering means the workouts are less intense to let your body recover. but not much or you'll get to relaxed. Doing all of this will help you have success on the big day, all it takes is hard work.

Making the Olympics will change your life-style, but that's what it takes to be happy with your results. Training, eating and free time will all be changed so your body can be ready for the Olympics.



The cause of training hard

Every time that the time standards get faster or someone beats you, you work harder at practice. When the time standards change, people take those as motivation. Just to be in the Olympics you have to beat seven other people at the trials at least, to get in the tope three. Every single year, swimmers who want to get to the top train very hard everyday. And if they don't make they keep trying until they do.

Swimmers throughout the world have in their mid that if they train hard, they will reach their goals. Which is true. Many Olympic swimmers, before starting to train, look at the time standards. (Even swimmers in high school or age group) People take these time standards and use them as motivation for practice. Once the big day comes for the meet, everyone likes the outcome. Kevin Cordes has won many races in his life. He really wanted to make the 2012 Olympics. Kevin first had to make the Olympic trials first. He trained at the University of Arizona and also with coach Dave Krotiak. He had practice long hours getting his to perfection due to the fact the the time he had to make was pretty close to his times. Over the course of a couple meets he finally made the 200 breast stroke trial time. This is what Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, Missy Franklin and many more swimmers had to go through. All of them practiced everyday and worked very hard to make their cuts.

Times changing make sure you work very hard, which can lead to success. The effect of when times, is success! Even if your just an age group swimmer trying to get a champion time, you still can work as hard as Olympians. When anyone hears that time standards change, everyone will set their mind to getting the time and working hard to get it. Things change every year and if people are determined to reach their goal, then the effect of everything will be you success in the end.



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