That Time I Kicked Michael Phelps in the Leg

Happy First Day of The Olympics! I shared this post on Busy Girl earlier this summer, but now that the Olympics are really about to kick off, I thought it fitting for me to once again share this, one of the most bizarre experiences of my life.

Back in high school, I was quite the swimmer. Two practices and probably five or six meals a day, a few times a week in the weight room, and working my ass off in the pool and the gym all led to one huge meet, which my team and I would prepare for with extra enthusiasm as we threw away our razors for several months, growing out our leg hair in hopes that the extra drag would make us even a millisecond faster on race day.

This story begins after Michael Phelps had just been to his first Olympics, in 2004. He's from Maryland, if you didn't know, and he used to swim for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, which is the pool where our aforementioned biggest meet of the year used to be held. We were all pumped, because he was on the heat sheet for several races at this year's meet.


Let me tell you a little bit about warm-up pools--basically, they're a necessary evil at swim meets. They're over-crowded and anxiety-fueled and hard to move in, but hey, ya gotta warm up. I was in the warm-up pool in Baltimore that year, getting ready for my 200 breast stroke, when suddenly, someone ran over me. At this point, everyone has shaved pretty much any existing body hair off, so after my slippery legs came around and kicked this person's bigger, just as slippery leg, I turned around to say, "Sorry, man!" and was surprised to see Michael Phelps looking right at me with a little bit of disgust on his face.

I had just kicked Michael Phelps right in the leg.

"Oh! Sorry about that!" I panted, treading water in our lane, wondering if now was a bad time to ask him to sign my cap or my arm or my face or whatever. But in that moment, he wasn't interested in signing an autograph or talking to me or really doing anything else but swim. And then he solved the dilemma of the warm-up pool:

"If you'd just keep going, we wouldn't have to stop."

Gee, thanks Michael. I had no idea you were so revolutionary in your thinking.

Either way, I still met up with him later and got him to sign a couple shirts.

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