Like a drug addict changes his life so he can shoot, snort, or smoke his drug, I change my life so I can swim. A drug addict might be homeless, they might be poor and hungry, they might be dirty and smelly, they might even be rich and fancy, but no matter their state of life, they figure out how to live their life with their expensive drug.
Like it is impossible for a drug-addict to clearly explain their addiction to another person, it's almost impossible to clearly explain my addiction to competitive swimming.
But unlike drugs, swimming is healthy both physically and mentally. That's why it's a perfectly ok thing to be addicted to. Yes, I set my priorities in life: God, family, and school, and if I have to occasionally miss a swim practice to take care of one of those, I do so. But at 4:30 each day almost every day of the year, I am on the pool deck, cap and goggles, ready to swim.
I do not know if I will ever stop swimming. I might swim myself to death just as a drug-addict can drug themselves to death. But I do know this. I will one day stop training the way I do now. I will train until I reach my max potential. I will love it. I will savor it. I will live in each amazing moment. But once I know I am there, I will stop training. I will then become a swim coach and use my energy and my time to help others reach their max potential. Because the only thing more beautiful than reaching mine will be helping others reach theirs.
But at the end of the day, I'll hit that water. Because I will never be able to give up the feeling of water through my fingers and the smell of chlorine on my skin. I will never be able to give up having my breath taken away.
I didn't find swimming. It found me. It snatched me up in it's net and forever holds me helpless in it's trap and it's freedom.