It’s hard to believe that Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin is only 21 years old. She started swimming at five years old and began swimming competitively at the age of seven. In her new book, “Relentless Spirit,” Franklin tells the story of her love for swimming and her close-knit family. Most young swimmers may not be interested in the details of her personal life, but most readers can learn quite a lot about recovering from failure.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Franklin recounts her joy at diving into the pool at an early age. She discusses her love for the water and the fact that she never had to be nagged by her parents, even during early morning winter hours, to get to practice. However, after her losses in Rio Franklin lost her love for the sport. The joy of the early years vanished.
Franklin still swims for UC Berkeley but she has found simpler joys outside of the pool. Learning new cooking techniques and laughing with friends weren’t the catalyst for overcoming failure. Instead, she has found a new way to look at swimming. After representing a country and supporting her team mates, Franklin is rediscovering how to swim for herself and for her joy alone. It’s a bit early to tell if she will regain her standing in competitive swimming, or if she even wants to. After achieving whirlwind success, Franklin is in the process of rediscovering the sport that once bought her joy and comfort.