County times, the standard of advancement for all swimmers at my local high school swim team, is a twenty-two second fifty yard freestyle. This is a simple goal for most swimmers but it haunted me all freshmen year. My average time for the season is twenty four seconds or a full two seconds away from the cut off. Through the entire season, I am progressively getting faster until my time is merely milliseconds from my goal. On the final race of the season, my whole team is cheering me on but I miss the cut off by point two tenths of a second. My friends and teammates pat me on the back, "You will get it next year," and "Wow, you were so close," yet my coach blames my sloppy form for costing me valuable seconds. After the season ends, I decide it is a good idea to practice at the neighborhood pool. To my surprise, the youth summer swim league is practicing.
I remember when I was out with my family on our yacht and we were all playing in the water of the back of the boat. But after a while all the others decided that they would get out and go to the beach, but I wanted to just keep playing in the water around the boat, so I did. But just as everybody was getting ready to get into the little dingy, and I was of the back of the yacht in the water, I could see something black poking out of the water. “Shark” I yelled hoping to get somebody to help and pull the line that attached one of the kayaks to the yacht, But no everybody screamed get the camera. As I was trying to clamber myself up
When I came into the Corps I was and still am a scrawny kid; five feet seven and one hundred twenty pounds soaking wet. I came to the Corps to be challenged physically and mentally, however, I was not prepared for what I was getting myself into; I joined the Fighting Texas Aggie Fish Drill Team.
“Get up now,” My mom yelled down the hallway. “Hurry or you’ll be late!” My brother and I dreaded waking up early to swim, but we had chosen to commit. Even though I’ve competed every year since first grade, I still struggled. That summer swimming taught me to have stamina, the ability to not quit even though it was hard.
Westfield High School swimmers practiced for one last day on January 6 before the Hoosier Crossroads Conference, which would be the following day hosted by Brownsburg and would also mark less than a month before the team’s most important meets, sectionals and state, begin.
I learned to enjoy the sport through the loses and the wins. There were times when I was unsure that I would make the cut for a more elite practice, but I did my best and made it through. Things are always scary in the beginning but with courage and persistence I was able to make the cut.
There is a quote by Henry Ford, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is a process, working together is a success”. As a newcomer athlete on the Aquahawgs Swim Club, I was very cautious and weary of my behavior on the first day. Show up, do the practice, keep quiet, and go home. This mindset got me through the first 3 months and were by far the worst months of my entire athletic career. I was isolated, forced to create my own motivation and be my own critic. I hated the sport. For some reason that I still wonder about, I stayed, but enthusiasm was not present. I truly believed that I was a liability to the team because of my lack of performance in meets. That was truly my dark time. My saving light came in the form of 4, awkward,
My life was changed this summer after my winter swim team received unexpected news. We were told that we would no longer be able to practice at the same pool as before, leaving all of the swimmers without a place to practice. Unfortunately, this meant that my team, the Tiger Sharks, would no longer exist. I was devastated and now forced to bring myself upon a new team with unfamiliar faces. On my new team the head coach, Coach Bill, was able to assist me in making this transition easier and he was also exceptionally inviting to me and the other new swimmers. His unique training allowed me to immensely improve my swimming.
When I attended my first Empire Senior Dinner five years ago, I always wondered about what it would be like to stand up here. About to finish high school, about to finish Empire, and move on to college. It doesn’t seem too long ago when I thought that seemed eternally far away. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun.
My parents tell me that I took to swimming like... a fish takes to water. It is a safe place where I can float free of worries. Driven by passion and dedication, I decided to begin swimming competitively. Competitive swimming requires an intense level of determination and discipline. Forcing myself to get out of my warm bed at 5:30 in the morning to put on a still-slightly-damp swimsuit and stand in 40-degree weather waiting for practice to start. Putting up with limited lane space and irritating swimmers who think they are faster. Making a conscious effort to work on my stroke form, turns, touches, and techniques. The water becomes a whirlpool of injuries, losses, wins, friendships, enemies, and sickness. The water becomes home.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Hearing the whistle, I immediately dove into the water. It was just a typical afternoon swim practice and the regional swim meet was almost here. We’ve been training and practicing all season for this event. Every afternoon after school we would go to the YMCA pool to practice. I’ve been working on long distance swimming, such as the freestyle 200 and 500. The night before the regional swim meet arrived, and I happened to get sick. I felt weak, stiff, and exhausted. There was no way I could do well in any event that was going to occur the next day. I took some medicine and had some tea to try and feel better. Nothing really helped. All there was to do was hope. The next day arrived… feeling sick
Everyone says your team is your family, I never knew until Junior year when I joined the Elsik Varsity Swim Team. Everyone knew each other since Freshman year, I was the new bee who just entered “The Family”. Coming into that, I thought I was going to be the odd one out, I was wrong. Everyone was welcoming, I recognized some faces but just from walking in the hallways, not actually having a full blown conversation. Practices started at 5:00 A.M that year, it was terrible; when finishing practice everyone of us would go out and play cards or “I have never…”; it was crazy what some of them have done. Once season began our meets were the most exciting; that’s when others can see how we felt about our team. When one of our swimmers had an event
During the swim season of my sophomore year I was at the peak of my swimming career. I was swimming great times and had a very successful season. Prior to the regional swim meet I was qualified and all I had to do was swim my qualifying times to advance to the 1A/2A state swim meet. Exactly one week before the regional meet I broke my foot in two places. I was heartbroken because for a swimmer this is what you train for all year long. I felt like all my hard work and hours in the pool were for nothing. I immediately began physical therapy and told my parents I wanted to try and swim the following Saturday at regionals. My foot was not in a cast, but in a boot. My physical therapist even told me there was no way I would be able to swim at regionals.
When I joined the swim team, I was the newest person my age to the team. I’d always loved swimming, but before that year, I’d never even thought to join a competitive team. As a result, I was at a steep disadvantage when it came to skill and experience. I was constantly beaten by just about everybody—including the eight-year-olds. I quickly learned that there are few things as frustrating as being beaten by someone half your age. Not even tailgaters or slow wifi can top that. More because I was tired of coming in last than any real confidence in my swimming
As long as I can remember, I have always felt passionate about swimming. Whether I’m playing around, going to swim practice, or racing at a big swim meet, I’m always at the pool. Since I spent so much time around the water, becoming a lifeguard looked like the obvious job choice for me. After about a year of guarding, my supervisor asked me if I would be interested in starting to teach swim lessons. I was apprehensive at the thought of it, because I hadn’t worked with kids much before. It sounded like a cool opportunity though, so nervously I agreed.