Category: Sports

Man Swimming in Pool
SportsTraining and Development

Olympic Swimmer? I will never know

swimmerYep, I could have been.

The problem is that I will never really know.

This year the pool opened over Memorial Day Weekend. It was a bit cold and rainy and so I wasn’t able to swim on my designated start date. But, by May 30th I was ready to take the annual walk of shame – from the locker room to the pool edge. It’s a shame because I actually accomplish about 80% of my resolutions each year, but never quite get to the physical state I desire.

So, as I’ve started my summer lap swimming, my mind remembers a time long ago when I missed my chance to succeed in doing something with my swimming skills.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I can’t do the butterfly. I never had to learn it and so I didn’t. But, in 7th grade swim class I was the person who always had to demonstrate the stroke for the rest of the class. It was a bit traumatic for a shy girl, but did give me a sense of accomplishment.

In the 8th grade I had a friend try out for the swim team and make it. I delayed trying out until the last day. Apparently there was only one other person who had delayed as well – a boy named Scott. He wasn’t a particular “cool” guy and so I thought I would beat him. Realize, my 8th grade brain was at work, not taking in the obvious clue that he was over 6 feet tall in the 8th grade and …had feet that could self-propel him into infinity.

So, the coach told us to get into the water and she blew the start whistle. We were off and running, er swimming.

After a few laps I realized that Scott was ahead of me. How could this be? I am (was) a pretty fast swimmer. How could “un-cool” Scott be ahead of me?

At the end of the race, I couldn’t even hear my time and can’t even remember if I made the team. I was so deflated that I had lost to Scott of all people.

So, much to the dismay of my friend, and I’m sure the coach, I didn’t join the team.


Well, later that year I was surprised to find out that Scott won all kinds of STATE championships in swimming. Yes, not school championships, but state. The person I had been comparing myself to was the best of the best. What if I had known that when I was racing him? I might have been proud of my attempt to compete against him and perhaps would have continued to improve my game.

Or, would I?

It is easy to make comparing a way of life. There will always be those that are far worse and far better than us in any given area. We all know this, but how we use this knowledge creates drastically different results.

I can write this blogspost because I’ve chosen the right way to respond and ….the wrong approach.

Here are a few tips that may be helpful to keep in mind when you are tempted to compare yourself too much to the “Olympic champions” around us:

  • Change YOUR surroundings – It’s time to take a break from whatever is diverting you. Is it comparing yourself to neighbors? Take a little roadtrip to some small towns or just a different city. Noticing all the great accomplishments of people on Facebook? Log off the system for a few days.
  • Serve Others – Admit it, you get self-doubt and a tinge of depression when you spend too much time comparing your life, business, successes, and failures to others. Turn it around. Serve, serve, serve. Write a thank you note to a friend or customer. Offer to do and errand or task for someone. Volunteer. This gets you out there realizing you’ve got something to offer. Plus, it might give you that big idea you’ve been looking for and can’t seem to find since you are so busy comparing!
  • Personal Affirmations – No, this isn’t a joke. Sometimes you need to make a list of things that you do well or would like to do well. Perhaps repeat them during your morning exercise or while you are driving to work or business. Our brains take action on what we tell them. Our brain doesn’t know if what we are telling them is positive or negative. Why not express daily what we do well.
  • Turn to your inspirational sources – This may be scripture, coaches, favorite authors, etc. There’s always something embedded in these resources that help us press on, remind us that we are unique and just need to focus on improving ourselves.
  • Focus – Select just 1-2 areas to work on at a time. I’m BAD at this area. I love creating dozens of projects, goals, and ….expectations for myself. I need to stop it! When we do this, it is as if we are taking the best we see in dozens of people and trying to become the best at all those things even though they aren’t even all that! Better to select 1-2 areas to go focus on learning, growing and creating in than trying to scratch the surface of everything.

I just got back from my swim. I swam slower than usual, but it was a beautiful day and the next few days are going to be rainy. I just wanted to be out in the sunshine and fresh air.  I beat an older woman without trying (really?), but quickly reminded myself that it didn’t matter and ….I slowed down and worried about improving my stroke instead of how the pool crowd perceived my progress.

Perhaps my daily efforts will avail me a spot on some kind of mid-life Olympic wanna be swim team someday. So be it. I’m fine with it. I’m doing what I can with what I have right now at this point….and there is progress!

But, every once in a while I kick myself for not taking this step in the 8th grade. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, right?


Cover of the BYU Rugby 2009 Championship video

Villager Scot – BYU Rugby Forever

Website: Cover of the BYU Rugby 2009 Championship video

Facebook Group

YouTube –

A self proclaimed super fan (The No.1 BYU Rugby Super Fan), Scot played rugby in high school and in college. But, injuries and school priorities drew him in to other endeavors during practice time after his first year on the team.

Since he writes better than we do, we’ve pulled how he got started on the BYU Rugby Forever blog AND the 2009 BYU Rugby Highlight Video from his own blog:

“The summer of 2008 posed a special dilemma for Scot Clark, an avid fan for life and former player for the BYU Rugby team in 2001. Since the year 2000, not one season had passed by without one of the Clark brothers playing on the BYU Rugby team. The upcoming 2008-2009 season, however, would mean attending games without the fun of cheering on a brother on the field.

Scot’s passion for rugby was more powerful than perhaps even he realized at the time, and so instead of turning a blind eye and fading out of the rugby scene, he felt like he could give more in his brothers’ absence. Though relegated to the bleachers, he decided to share stories and perspectives regarding the BYU Rugby team on a blog entitled, “BYU Rugby Forever.” This effort quickly grew into a platform for sharing media, news, and other updates with BYU Rugby alumni, fans, and friends everywhere.

BYU Rugby fans
In 2009, the BYU Men’s Rugby team won their first National Championship title. And in an amazing coincidence of timing and opportunity, BYU Rugby Forever simultaneously produced the nation’s first high-definition rugby highlight video. Featured were many of the 2009 BYU Men’s Rugby season matches as well as their National Tournament match-ups, culminating with their epic win over longtime defending champs, Cal-Berkeley.

Additionally during the 2009 season, BYU Rugby Forever resurrected the iconic, Y-Mountain-style ‘Y’ on the backdrop of a custom fan shirt. The shirts especially garnered attention from TV cameras and opposing fans during the 2009 National Tournament not only for the ridiculously-large scale of the Y on each shirt but also due to the unrelenting craziness and cheering produced by their wearers: the BYU Rugby Superfans.

Presently, BYU Rugby Forever forges ahead, a pioneering presence in the realm of American collegiate rugby, pursuing a variety of creative means by which to rally new and ardent BYU Rugby Superfans around the program, the sport, and the dream of ultimate rugby glory …”

Welcome to Nudge Village Scot! We look forward to hearing more about your advancing the cause of rugby!