39 Thoughts All Swimmers Have During the 200 Butterfly

We’re pretty sure everyone is terrified of the 200 butterfly. Well, except for Michael Phelps, maybe. But let’s just make it clear that Phelps is absolutely the exception and not the rule. Even if you’re a 200 flyer and you swim the event at every single meet, there’s still a very strong love-hate dynamic going on with this event. No, it’s not as long as a 1500 meter freestyle (thank goodness) but it’s certainly no walk in the park either. Non-flyers are terrified of swimming this event, and while you certainly can attest that it’s not that bad, you’re not exactly thrilled to swim that much butterfly either (even if you train for it). Can we have the 50 butterfly back, please?


Although the event is only around two minutes long (possibly less than that if you’re an absolute animal), if you’re anything like me, a lot of thoughts can go through your head in that amount of time…

  1. Okay, it’s only a 200. I do that all the time in practice, right?
  2. Don’t take it out too fast or you’ll die. But definitely don’t take it out too slow. Wait, how do I do that again?
  3. That’s the girl next to me? I need to lift more.
  4. Alright, the heat before me is almost done. I can do this. I think.
  5. GO GO GO!
  6. Under waters, under waters, under waters! Dolphin dolphin dolphin!
  7. Okay, keep your cool.
  8. Hey this doesn’t hurt yet!
  9. I like butterfly a lot when I’m not in pain! I am flying!
  10. That girl is really going for it. I think I might be able to, too?
  11. I think I’m going to get going now.
  12. Okay, now I think I’m going to get going.
  13. Am I going out too fast? We are barely at the 100 mark…
  14. *turns* Oh wow, I definitely went out too fast. This one’s gonna hurt…
  16. Okay, I got this. I have endurance (sort of). I can pick it up too.
  18. I definitely need to beat this girl next to me. I can definitely catch her.
  19. Eh, not so sure anymore.
  21. H-e-e-e-y, there’s that second wind! Okay, I definitely can do this!
  22. Last 50, here I come!
  23. Is everyone as tired as me?
  24. If everyone’s as tired as me, why aren’t they slowing down?
  25. It’s literally a 50. I do this everyday. Come on, body, pick it up!
  26. My mind says yes but my body says NO.
  27. This is MY. RACE.
  28. I’m going to black out.
  29. Is it normal to lose feeling in my shoulders? No?
  30. Well there go the shoulders. At least they don’t hurt anymore.
  31. Oh, and there go the legs. I think I am just a moving torso now.
  32. I could always stop.
  33. Last 10 meters! Fight through the pain!
  35. How am I still alive?
  36. I am never doing that again.
  37. Just kidding, coach will make me do it next meet for sure.
  38. I actually love the 200 fly.
  39. That wasn’t so bad. Why was I complaining in the first place?

By Sophia Chiang, Swimming World College Intern

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