Let’s say it’s year 2016, you’re 31 years old, you are the most decorated Olympian of all time, and you’ve just retired, again… what do you do next? If your name is Michael Phelps, you spend the next few months planning a small intimate wedding with your fiancé, Nicole Johnson. “I plan to write my own vows” says Phelps in an interview with Yahoo sports.
After the 2012 Olympics in London, Phelps had grown tired of swimming and resented that people only defined as a swimmer. “I don’t have anything else.” he stated, choosing to retired from swimming at that time. Subsequently, in 2014, when he was arrested for a DUI (his second in 10 years) and after being suspended by US Swimming, Phelps entered an in-house rehabilitation to help with his struggles and alcoholism. Looking to regain purpose and structure back in his life, Phelps came out of retirement with hopes of becoming even more decorated than he was at that current time (Phelps had already attained 18 gold medals before the Rio Olympics).
When you look at Michael Phelps Instagram page today, you see pictures of him with his fiancee and his son Boomer, but you’ll also notice a subtle hint of stubble on his face, arms, and legs. No longer having to shave his whole body, as swimmers are known to do, the effects of retirement are embracive. “I’m ready to be done,” Phelps said. “That’s the biggest difference this time around than in 2012. I always said when I hang up my suit I don’t want a what-if. If I stayed away from the sport after 2012, I would have 100 percent regretted that.”
Michael now has other things in his life that he wants to make sure he doesn’t regret- being present to help raise his son. “Every parent I’ve talked to said, ‘Wait ‘til you see how fast time flies.’ That’s something I don’t want to miss. I want to be there every step of the way with him.”. While Phelps has stated he would never push his son to swim, he acknowledges that baby Boomer already enjoys the water.
“I’m in the best place in my life with all my relationships – with Nicole, my family, my friends, and I feel the best I’ve ever felt in the pool.” “It’s crazy to wrap my head around the amount of medals, the amount of races…because it all started as a dream.” Phelps continuously moved confidently towards his dreams and will forever live the life he always imaged.
What a magical fairy tale. ~The End