As I grow older, my respect for athletes of many sports has grown. Although the players of many team sports can often settle into the stereotype of "the jock," I have learned that these stereotypes are often false. Often, sports requiring high amounts of physical accomplishment both attract and influence participants toward discipline, methodical observation, and practiced effort.
Last year, I learned to respect the efforts of track/cross-country athletes, when I became more fully acquainted with Melissa St. Clair, one of my school's top athletes and top scholars.
Last night, I learned to respect the efforts of swimmers when I spent some time in the college's pool. In over three years at Elizabethtown, I had never gone to the pool. Indeed; I have not been swimming for eight or nine years. I was in for a surprise.
I could barely swim a single lap.
This was a large surprise, since I think little of an 8.5-hour bicycle ride. But upper body strength is a foreign concept to a cyclist, so I suppose it makes sense.
I have concluded the swimming is the best possible exercise for players of wind instruments. The water pressure on your torso forces the diaphragm to work much harder.