What is Success

What is Success

By Katlynn Emaus, Swimming Word College Intern

What defines success? Is success winning NCAAs? Or getting 100 percent on a chemistry midterm? Or is it meeting your seasonal goal time? Or maybe it’s even missing the national cut. Success is a term commonly used. Everyone wants to be successful, but everyone has a different definition of the term.

In swimming, some people see success as pretty black and white. You either get your goal time or you don’t. You either win or you lose. You are either successful or you are not. That is just plain wrong. Although, swimming can appear to be a pretty straight forward sport, there are plenty of gray areas when it comes to defining success.

I distinctly remember a time when I was younger, when my coach told me “no matter what you do in this 200 breast, just take seven strokes a length and let’s see what happens.” I added eight seconds. I was pretty upset, however my coach considered that a successful swim. I couldn’t see where he was coming from. How was adding eight seconds and getting fourth considered a successful swim? It was not until recently that I realized what made it a successful race. It was successful because I went out and did what I wanted to do: I took seven strokes per length. I was trying out a new strategy for a race. The race was successful, but the strategy was not.

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