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Do it for a cause. Once you can swim, a good way to use that talent, show it off, reward yourself, and start to get competitive, is to join a swim race that raises money for a charity or special research.
What are you passionate about? Do you want to help cure cancer? Find races that raise money for and are sponsored by societies who will donate a portion or all of the entrance fee money collected to a good cause. You'll feel good about yourself both physically and emotionally, and you'll be doing something good for others.