Despite training consistently and diligently, less than half the swimmers in the Swim Smooth Squads in Perth race competitively, either in the pool or open water:
It's not easy getting to the pool at 5:30am in winter for a hard 4km set and yet they do:
That doesn't mean they don't train hard, in fact they train incredibly hard and are all achieving a high level of swimming.
Sure it's great to keep fit and healthy through the great sport of swimming but actually for these swimmers it goes much bigger than that. It's time out from the daily pressures of work and supporting the family for a while. In short, swimming "keeps them sane".