I am wondering what "just the pressure around it" means in the sentence below.

But she hadn’t really gone off swimming, just the pressure around it.
The Midnight Library - Matt Haig, 2020

  • It appears to be meaningless. What does "it" refer to? Please state where you found this sentence. Who wrote it? Is it from a book? What happened before this. Please give a link to the text if you have one. Mar 13 at 11:54
  • 3
    Here "gone off" seems to mean "no longer likes", not "disappeared". It was dislike of the situational pressure which caused her to stop swimming, not the swimming itself. For example, she might have been a competitive swimmer but stopped because of the pressure from others' expectations and media interest. Mar 13 at 12:26
  • 2
    She hadn’t really gone off (started to dislike) swimming, she had just gone off the pressure associated with swimming. Mar 13 at 13:52
  • Those last two comments should really be answers!
    – stangdon
    Mar 13 at 16:40

she hadn’t really gone off swimming, just the pressure around it.

You understand that "gone off" something means that you have lost your enthusiasm, interest, or passion for something. "Gone off swimming" would mean they were no longer interested in swimming.

What they are in fact saying is that they haven't gone of swimming - but they have gone off the pressure around it ("it" being the thing previously mentioned - swimming).

I understand this to mean that the person was engaged in the sport of swimming, perhaps on a professional, or competitive level. Professional sport often comes with 'pressure' - pressure to train hard, and of course to win.

So, the person is saying that they have lost their interest in swimming because of the pressure.

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