It all starts with the water. And then Michael Phelps swims into the frame, and it's easy to remember all over again why the Olympian has won 18 gold medals.
In January Phelps's coach Bob Bowman offered an update on the athlete, saying "he's as fit as he's been in a long time." If you had any doubts, all you need to do is watch his new Under Armour commercial to see that's true. In the video he lifts weights in the gym, recovers, sleeps, stares dramatically for long periods of time like any guy who's one of the greatest, most badass athletes to swim the face of the earth would, eats some serious food, and, of course, swims. Then swims some more. The clip wraps up with a quote that reads: "It's what you do in the dark that puts you in the light." And even though you aren't completely sure what that even means, and you know you'll never be able to swim like this dude, ever, it's still inspiring as hell.
In fact, Phelps cried the first time he saw the commercial. "That's insane," Phelps says in a reaction video he shared yesterday on his Facebook page. His fiancé, Nicole Johnson, sits next to him, and the two wipe away tears. "I think being able now, to not be afraid, and to understand everything, what I'm doing, and to understand that I can't do it alone," Phelps says. "I think that commercial — you saw us, we're in tears — that commercial shows a lot of amazing things about me that probably the world's never seen. When I said on the Joe Buck interview, 'The world's going to see the real Michael Phelps,' and that's what I'm excited for."
This summer, Phelps will likely return to the water to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. We already know how he'll be preparing in the meantime. Until then, you can find us playing this on repeat, and in the SLOW LANE of our local gym's pool with fogged-up goggles, trying not to drown one lap at a time.