There were only so many words that could be spared for Jimmy Jameson in the swimming player of the year story, most of which were taken up by his triumphs over illness the last two years to perform at his best at Easterns. But here’s a sampling of what didn’t make the cut.
On his memories from the 2012 Easterns:
My actual memories of it were kind of blurred because I was on so much medicine. I swam better than I would’ve thought – obviously getting third place was just amazing for us. We broke some relay (records), got some All-American times on them, it was a great experience. I think in the end, I’m very glad I ended up swimming, forcing myself through it, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to do that again.
On the team’s ability to build on the success of 2012:
I think it could have been (difficult) in terms of our team’s mindset, but for whatever reason, probably to the credit of (head coach) Sean (Hansen) and (assistant) Brendan Jones, we really came in with the belief that even if we’re not going to be as good as last year’s team, we’re going to work harder at the very least. Every practice, at least I noticed, that everyone was trying that much harder, working themselves that much more, knowing that yeah, we’ve lost a lot of seniors, but we don’t want to be like one of those teams that just get run down. We still believed that we could get top 6. To get fifth, having all these extra swims out of these no-name people, it was great.
On the risk of burnout at his old high school, New Trier:
You can get burnt out pretty quick, not only in terms of the physical aspect but the mental. You kind of question why you’re doing the sport because it can be so grueling. So what I took from New Trier’s practices was the mental aspect and being able to kind of keep the goal in sight no matter how hard practices are. So when I came here, the frequency of the practices dropped but the intensity, in terms of difficulty and sprinting and all that, was higher. I just tried to draw on my previous experiences with such hard practices to push through that. At the same time, with not having as many, I was kind of able to enjoy that sport more. I wasn’t kind of being, I guess for lack of a better word, drowned by the total amount. In just strictness and the expectations of the coaches were so high at New Trier.
It’s hard to balance that much swimming. It’s about 5.5 hours of working out every day. You put that on top of school and homework. The month of January was always the toughest for me. I would get like four and a half, five hours of sleep a night. At some point you just can’t keep doing that. I don’t know how it would’ve gone if I would’ve spent another year there. There was some sense of burnout. I would always have to take a break after swim season was done.