Alexa Specht is a senior from Granville, OH, and was a distance swimmer for the women’s swim team. She enjoys swimming the 400 IM and fly, and recorded a personal best this season in the 200 back. Specht was named a member of the Centennial Honor Roll in 2020 and 2021. She has swum competitively since age seven, minus a break for COVID, and recently retired.
Bess Levin Markel: What attracted you to the Swarthmore swim program, and what impacted your decision to retire?
Alexa Specht: What attracted me to the program was that the coaches and the team think really hard about all the things we do, both swimming and otherwise. [I decided to retire because] I really felt that I had given all I had to the sport, and I thought it was time to step aside and let some other people take the helm.
BLM: What are your personal goals for retirement? What are you excited about?
AS: Oh, I’m so excited. I’ve been living it up as a gardener for Swarthmore College. That has been lovely. My goal is to just try as many new things as I can and have fun.
BLM: Is there anything you’re glad to be done with?
AS: I’m so glad I never have to put on a kneeskin again.
BLM: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from your time being retired?
AS: The most important lesson I’ve learned is that if I don’t work out, I’m very stiff. I don’t know how non-athletes do it.
BLM: What’s been your favorite moment of retirement thus far?
AS: My favorite moment has been going to the Crumb Cafe on a Friday night and not having to get up early for a swim meet afterwards. That has been very exciting.
BLM: Do you swim recreationally now that you’re retired or do you need a break?
AS: I’m taking a break; I would like to let myself get slow again so that I can build myself back up because it’s more fun to see progress.
BLM: Will you be a spectator of your sport going forward?
AS: I will be an avid spectator of the Swarthmore swim team, but I have never and will probably continue to not pay attention to any other swimming other than the Olympics.
BLM: What’s your favorite Sharples bar?
AS: My favorite is a hot take, but it’s tortilla soup.
BLM: Any advice for athletes who are thinking about their own retirement or are planning to retire next year?
AS: Well, I recently went to a panel that was for life after athletics, and what they said was to give it all and to do [everything you want to do] for the team before you retire, and I thought that sounded nice.