To the Swimmer I Once Was, and Always Kinda Will Be

Dear the swimmer I once was and to anyone who used to swim,

 

I know I quit the sport a long time ago, and it has been 4 years since I have stepped foot in a swimming pool but this sport will always be a part of you and me. This sport changed my life. For anyone who played any sport for any amount of time, that will always be with you.

 

The people you spent time with were your best friends and also your competition. Those 3 hour long practices were hell but honestly without them there, you would not survive.

I know getting up at 4:30am out of that warm bed and those cozy sheets and then driving for 30 min to just jump into a cold pool at 5am was not ideal but those are the practices that counted the most. Of course you did not want to do a 2 hour practice and then go to school for 7.5 hours and then drive back to the pool and swim for another 2 hours. Then the dreaded weekend hits where the 3 hour practice comes in. With those 3 hour practices came dryland which was a blessing and a curse. Dryland gave you a chance to not be in the pool and relax but also came strength training which sucks. But in the back of your mind you knew that all those hard and tiring practices are going to be worth it come meet time.

When swim meets came they were the best and worst times. The 6am wake up and then sit at a pool for 8 hours and only swim for less than a minute. But the suffering was all worth it when you got a best time. Then those best times turned into qualifying times for junior olympics, state championships, sectionals, and nationals.

You also had some pretty rough setbacks; people who were more your foe than a friend, coaches who did not want you to succeed, and the ending of an athletic career.You never want to settle for less, you want to grow stronger and keep improving, you want to do better than the person within you. You were raised to compete and do it well. You were taught to race the clock and not worry about the person next to you, but the swimmer inside of you.

 

But in the end it is once a swimmer, always a swimmer.