FINDING ENJOYMENT IN THE WORK
For someone who has done ten kilometers of swimming every day since he was nine, Ivan Puskovitch, now 21 and an NCAA swimmer, still thinks swimming is fun. Even adding up all the early morning practices, the countless kilometers staring at a black line, the sacrifices from family and friends, and even his struggles to come back after the pandemic, Puskovitch still bubbles with joy and enthusiasm for the sport. “I just love it,” he smiles, explaining how he always did his laps every day, even when his childhood team finished for the season.
For Puskovitch, there was a natural progression from being a kid swimming to being an elite athlete but when splashing around became double workouts Monday to Friday on top of studying for college, the fun can be easily lost. “Especially in modern day swimming, burnout is becoming so popular,” Puskovitch says. “The key is that you have to start the sport in a fun way, fun but productive, and then it’s your job to hang on to that feeling.”
“It’s a gradual transition from the early stages of having fun to coming in to do work. For me, the key was finding enjoyment in that work. I don’t only want to go fast at a meet. Part of what keeps me motivated to swim is going fast every day, seeing daily progression. I feel myself getting rejuvenated with more skill, more speed, and just getting better.”