By Mike Watkins//Contributor | Friday, November 3, 2017
Despite the many times he’s been interviewed on TV after a great swim, Cody Miller never really felt comfortable seeing himself on video until late last year.
After the Olympics – where he won bronze and set an American record in the 100 breaststroke along with a gold medal as a member of the 400 medley relay – Miller took some time away from the pool and picked up a camera.
Realizing he needed more advanced equipment and knew almost nothing about video editing, he bought a new video camera and laptop – replete with software – and began shooting and experimenting, channeling the filmmaker he always knew was inside him and he had wanted to be since he was a kid.
He watched an editing tutorial on YouTube and “pulled the trigger” on making his dream come true.
“I have absolutely no regrets about attending and swimming for Indiana, but I always wanted to be a filmmaker and envisioned myself attending a top film school,” he said. “Now, I’m taking the opportunity to explore and learn as I go along. Starting my own vlog is allowing me some freedom to pursue my dream.”
Miller finished his first vlog last month and shared it on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube (Cody Miller Adventures) – and just added a second video Nov. 1.
Throughout the process of not only learning the fine art of movie-making but also becoming more comfortable seeing and watching himself on video, Miller said he’s ready to tackle more personal and complex issues in the future – including body image and diet.
And that’s just the beginning.
“When you spend so much of your time wearing very little in and around the pool, you can have some serious body image issues,” Miller said. “I’ve always had a sunk in chest – where my chest caves a bit in the center – and that led to a lot of insecurities for me.
“But over time, I learned I’m not alone in having these insecurities. Even the most beautiful people have things they don’t like about themselves. Eventually, you have to move past that and accept who are you are no matter what. It’s a great message for people of all ages.”
Miller’s first vlog chronicled a day in his life – the life of an Olympic swimmer – following him to his early-morning swim practice, to the chiropractor, to lunch, and back to the pool before heading home for the evening.
While that may sound a bit ordinary, Miller’s use of humor, how he incorporated his training partners into the film and his quick film cuts and choice of music keep things energetic and constantly moving.
“I’m still learning, but each time I do it, I always want to have fun and inject my personality into the video and messaging,” said Miller, who won gold as a member of the 400 medley relay at 2015 World Championships. “I wasn’t sure if anyone would like it, but so far the feedback has been really positive.”
His most recent vlog addition followed him and wife, Ali, to Los Angeles two weeks ago for a meet pitting the U.S. National Team against Pac-12 All-Stars.
He also included their visit to Universal Studios’ 8 haunted houses (some hilarious footage of them being genuinely terrified) and them “geeking out” at Harry Potter World.
“We’re big Harry Potter fans; we incorporated the theme into our wedding (this past September) including giving our guests magic wands and our wedding cake being Harry Potter-themed,” he said. “Experiencing Harry Potter World first-hand brought out the true geeks in us. It was fantastic.”
While Miller said he is excited about continuing his vlog journey moving forward – planning to increase production to a new vlog every other week – he’s also excited about swimming.
Having taken time off after the Olympics and not resuming full-time training until February this year, he said his individual performance (fifth in the 100 breast) at Worlds this summer wasn’t surprising despite being a bit disappointed.
He’s rededicated himself to swimming and training full-time and is already looking forward to next summer’s Phillips 66 USA Swimming National Championships – where the 2018 Pan Pacific and 2019 World Championship teams will be selected.
“It’s all about swimming for me now, and the vlog will be a great way for me to share my experiences with friends, family, fans and other swimmers to tell them about my journey,” he said. “There are tremendous opportunities for me both in swimming and in my interest in making movies, and I’m looking forward to both.”
Check out Cody’s vlogs at: