MASTERING THE MENTAL: Lund Overcomes Adversity En Route to Becoming an Elite Swimmer
KLEIN OAK’S HUNTER LUND DOESN’ T SET GOALS AND DIDN’ T EVEN MAKE IT TO THE UIL STATE SWIM MEET LAST YEAR, YET HE RECENTLY SIGNED TO SWIM FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA.
What Lund did was master the mental.
“I went to State my freshman and sophomore year, so last season I thought it was going to be easy,” he said. “It’s a given I’m going to State, right? My body wasn’t having it. I got sick and my body broke down. I had no stamina and didn’t make it. I was really down.”
What he did next is what sports is all about. It’s how you overcome adversity.
“To be an elite swimmer, you have to have the mentality that there is going to be failure,” Lund, who swims for Premier Aquatics Club said. “You can’t let your lows be too low and learn from your failures. It’s a huge mental game.”
Lund went back to work, and a few months later became a national recruit, dropping his times drastically in all of his events.
“It was an event in Magnolia,” he said. “That meet sent me to that next level, and I became nationally ranked because of it.”
He decided on UNC for many reasons.
“The school is amazing, academically,” he explained. “I care deeply about academics beyond the sport. It’s an amazing sports program that cares deeply about their student-athletes. The campus was amazing, and the scholarship was right. It was a great fit.”
Lund is a long-distance swimmer, competing in 500-meter, 1-mile and 1,000-meter races.
“It seems kind of boring, but I love it,” he said. “It takes a lot of work. You are in so much pain, your body is cramping, and you are always out of breath, but you just have to keep going.
“It sounds strange, but I don’t set goals. I think goals can sometimes limit you. I want to be the best version I can, and I might blow right through the goals I could set for myself.”
Lund has a unique and hectic schedule that is tremendously regimented. He has followed it for years.
“I wake up at 5:05 a.m. every day… sometimes I set my alarm for 5:08,” he laughs. “I swim or hit the weights, get ready for school, go to school, have a snack, and swim until 7 p.m. I eat, shower, do homework and go to bed.”
The dude also eats and eats and eats to fuel his body.
“I’m eating all day, especially in the summer,” he said. “I usually have four eggs, a smoothie and peanut butter toast. I’ll eat some Lean Cuisines during the day and then a dinner. It’s a lot.”
The life of a swimmer is not glamourous. While talent and physicality have a lot to do with it, the most important muscle for a swimmer is between the ears.
“People ask me all the time if I want to quit during a race,” he laughs. “All the time, but something just keeps me going.”