Explaining Your Addiction to Family Members

swimchica623swimchica623 Member
edited May 23 in General Discussion
Does anyone have difficulty explaining their swimming obsession to their family in a way that really allows them to understand why you do what you do? I'm surprised that my parents (I am independent, but still a bit of a youngin' at 28...) struggle with comprehension so much, as my family is entirely comprised of beach bums and my mom was the perfect swim mom.
For me, I think it comes down to nerves on their part and their desire to see the end of the tunnel. They always think a swim will end with "Okay, that's enough!" when in reality it ends with "What's next?"
I've been, perhaps distastefully, comparing swimming to an addiction...but sometimes I feel like I'm going to have an intervention thrown for me if I'm not careful...
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Comments

  • gregocgregoc Member
    You can call it an addiction or a religion. The only people who truly understand are fellow junkies. My wife is an enabler, but I don't think she fully gets it.
  • evmoevmo Admin
    gregoc said:

    My wife is an enabler, but I don't think she fully gets it.

    True love!
  • suziedodssuziedods Member
    I don't need to explain to family, I need to explain to my credit card company.
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • jcmalickjcmalick Charter Member
    I'm in trouble because my addiction is swimming and the one that created this thread! Finances become way out of whack when both parties are junkies! ~O)
  • jcmalick said:

    I'm in trouble because my addiction is swimming and the one that created this thread! Finances become way out of whack when both parties are junkies! ~O)

    Well at least we understand each other. :)
  • flystormsflystorms Member
    I've done a lot of other endurance sports and every time I tell my dad about one he says, "Hell, I don't even like to DRIVE that far!" (and yes he emphasizes just like that.) They're so cute at that age. :)
  • JBirrrdJBirrrd Member
    edited May 20
    Truthfully, I’ve decided to keep my husband in the dark as much as possible as to what I actually go through on my marathon distance swims. Not always pretty and I am quite sure if he saw me in some of the conditions I’ve swum in, he would have had me pulled or never let me start. Fortunately for both of us, he does not care to be on boats so I’ve avoided having to worry about him worrying about me while I’m swimming. He is the perfect swim dad to our pool-swimming children and supports me in my ow endeavors far more than I deserve. Between time away from the family plus all the expenses, this is definitely a costly little hobby I’ve taken up. Blessed, I am, to have the support I do.
  • Cole_GCole_G Member
    I don't think I have ever had any difficulty explaining my addiction to my family members. My mother grew up a swimmer and was actually quite great back in the day (she used to train with Summer Saunders back when they were kids) but had her own career cut way short my medical issue in her teens. As such my three brothers and I were all encouraged to do sports and swimming in particular. While none of my brothers ever got as competitive as I did, we all competed in swimming at one point or another. So to my immediate family swimming was always a part of my life, all that has changed now is I have turned from the IM and the mile, to multiple mile open water swims.

    The real trick is trying to explain it to all my friends though. They all think I am batshit crazy for wanting to do this. Even my friends from my college team think I am crazy, but that's never going to stop me from doing it. One quote that I think would be great to help explain our addiction to non-athletes/non-swimmers is one that was posted by @loneswimmer in the quote thread:

    "No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable."
  • ChickenOSeaChickenOSea Charter Member
    suziedods said:

    I don't need to explain to family, I need to explain to my credit card company.

    Spot on. Who cares
  • Are people willing to go into debt in order to do a swim?
  • Are people willing to stay out of debt by not swimming?
  • suziedodssuziedods Member
    I TRY to stay out of debt by choosing my swims.Sometimes I don't choose very well, sometimes I do.
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • Being in the Pacific North West, we have enough opportunities for OW competition at relatively low fee rates. Or finding a friend and going to one of the Bays works too. But the idea of mortgaging your home and trying to do Cuba or even taking on a 17% interest rate in order to get MIMS runs counter to my instincts. At those points, I think the obsession/addiction has gone too far and you should be explaining it to yourself.
  • timsroottimsroot Member
    I'm incredibly fortunate. My wife came to my first 10k shortly after we started dating. So, I nabbed her right around the time I really caught the bug. The next year, I kind of roped her into paddling for my first 25k. She's paddled for a handful of races for me, including one I swam last weekend.

    I think she enjoys the reactions she gets when she tells people what her husband does for fun. Even if she does have to spend hours on a kayak taking care of me while I'm in the water she still gets trips to nice places like Pensacola, Vermont, and North Dakota. I do have other people I can ask to paddle for me, so she doesn't have to paddle for me all the time.

    I'll say this, too. Last weekend, I had an incredible swim. I went about an hour faster than I would have guessed (favorable conditions and everything), and was even fortunate enough to win. But one of the best feelings of the day was when, on the way back to the condo, she told me she was proud of me.
  • Based on my past, everyone in my family is delighted that I've pared down my hobbies to "just" OW swimming (in terms of cost, safety and family time).
  • IronMikeIronMike KyrgyzstanCharter Member

    Based on my past, everyone in my family is delighted that I've pared down my hobbies to "just" OW swimming (in terms of cost, safety and family time).

    OMG, you beat me to it. Same here.
  • bobswimsbobswims Charter Member
    Explaining Your Addiction to Family Members?

    No problem. They all disowned me shortly after taking up marathon swimming a few years ago. The only reason my wife is still talking to me is that when I head off to a swim I just tell her that: "I have to go out of town to take care of some business". Thankfully I pay the bills so she has been spared the pain. To her credit it was her idea that I stay and take my 2nd shot at thew EC while I was there. I'm sure she had no idea how much it was going to cost to go for a 2nd swim.
  • The expense is an issue for sure...but I have had trouble convincing my family that I just like swimming. I swam competitively all my life and just can't accept my fate as a "swammer" but am not happy trying to track down any decent times in pool events...or accepting mediocre times and doing masters meets just for the fun of it. That to me feels too self-indulgent. I tried running, but I am not really a runner. I kinda wish I were, because life might be a little easier! I love how marathon swimming just allows me to feel like a swimmer again...new goals, reasons to get to a workout every day, motivation to eat healthy, and as an added bonus, inspire some people along the way.
    I've had to make smart, logical choices...not pursuing ANOTHER graduate degree in the humanities (hahaha the first hardly profitable!) waiting to start a family with the right person instead of someone that is just comfortable, not going into debt like so much of my generation.
    Swimming is something that is for me. Pure, plain, and simple. It is just frustrating when people think there are other, less pure, motives.
  • @Bobswims that saddens me especially considering the focus of your non-profit fundraising for suicide prevention.
    @Swimchica623- the 1500 feels too self-indulgent, especially when it takes a person 40 minutes to complete. The 7 people focused on me during Catalina also seemed self-indulgent. I am still contending with the arrogance and self-centeredness of of safely marathon swimming versus the wonderful feelings I get when I swim in the ocean or down the river.
  • MvGMvG Member
    I explain it as a midlife thing.

    I told the love of my life that I would either get a Harley, a ponytail and a girlfriend half my age, or I would go and swim the Channel.

    And so the Channel it is.
  • timsroottimsroot Member

    I am still contending with the arrogance and self-centeredness of of safely marathon swimming versus the wonderful feelings I get when I swim in the ocean or down the river.

    I struggle a bit with this, too. I do what I can to make sure my wife is still okay with me swimming, and make sure that my paddlers understand how much I appreciate their help, even if I am offering constructive criticism while we are out on the water.
  • david_barradavid_barra Charter Member
    When people balk at the expenses related to marathon swimming I like to remind them of their child care, vet bills, fancy car payments, tithes.... etc.

    Swimming is a bargain!
    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
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