Five Questions with Michael Klueh
July 13, 2014
Swimming, like many sports, requires a huge time commitment in order to be successful at the highest levels. This makes it difficult to find ways supporting myself without sacrificing the quality of my training. The financial support I have received from the Level Field Fund has greatly assisted me in being able to afford to travel to competitions, allowing me to remain focused on my training throughout the season.
What is the best part about being a swimmer?
Swimming has instilled in me characteristics that I have been able to apply to the other facets of my life, mainly the importance of hard work and dedication. You can achieve great things when you pledge yourself fully towards a clear goal. Swimming has also given me countless lifelong friendships. Once my swimming career is over and in the past, these friendships will continue to be more important than any medal won or record set.
Favorite places to compete and travel?
One of the truly great things about swimming is the opportunity to travel and compete in many amazing places around the world. As a member of the US Junior National Team, my first international competition was in Brisbane, Australia back in 2004. I absolutely loved Australia and have always wanted to return. Australia is home to some of the world’s best beaches and most unique animals! That should serve as extra motivation this summer to qualify for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships held in Gold Coast, Australia.
Best training day?
This is a tough question. The key to success in swimming is not in an occasional great workout but in consistency, maintaining a high level of training throughout the entire season. That being said, I often fondly look back on a training session I had with two of my former teammates at the University of Texas, Jackson Wilcox (2009 US National Champion and World Championship Team member in the 1500 m freestyle) and Michael McBroom (2013 World Silver Medalist and American Record holder in the 800 m freestyle). All three of us completed the set of 100 x 100s on a 1:00 interval. It was an hour and forty minutes of racing and pushing our bodies beyond any preconceived limits. The set made our minds and bodies tougher and also brought us closer together as friends and teammates.
What advice do you have for athletes in need of financial support?
Don’t give up on your dream easily. If you still love to train and compete in your sport, then apply for grants, be frugal, and actively seek financial support so you continue to work towards your dream. Make sure that you have removed any “what ifs.” When that day does come and you finally hang up your uniform for good, you have no regrets.