I had always loved swimming. I had passed all of my swim classes the first time through and couldn’t wait to join the pre-competition swim team. And when I got on that I continued to love it and continued to excel and move up to more advanced teams until I finally got to the gold competition team. And loved it even more. I then entered high school and heard terror stories of the coach. I was so scared and didn’t want to swim with him. I almost didn’t, but my parents convinced me to and I will be forever grateful for that. We had 7 practices a week and meets every weekend for what seemed like a never ending season.
Most swimmers have specific races that they exceed in and love but I did not yet. I was swimming every event trying to find my fit, and I didn’t find it until the end of my sophomore year. I had survived one year with my coach and had three more to go. But the great thing about my coach is that he can see the potential and the fit for each of his swimmers before they even could. He would put me in the two longest races there were in high school competitions and for a while I had no clue why. I wasn’t great, but with each race I would drop time. My freshmen year my time in the 500 freestyle was 7:59.21. By the beginning of sophomore year it was 7:20.32, and at region my sophomore year I dropped 14.91 seconds from the last time I had raced it and ended the season with a 6:43.51. I had finally found my race and I was sure my junior year would be amazing.
But sadly it did not go as well as I had hoped. In September of 2014 I was having severe right shoulder pain, before the season even started. It progressively got worse and my times did not improve as drastically as the year prior. I had lot of ups and downs. Lots of pain, tears, physical therapy, and doctor visits. This is not what I wanted my season to be like. It was completely devastating. My goal for this region meet was to be under a 6:20.00, to beat my biggest competitor and oddly enough to get a hug from my coach. I ended the season with a 6:25.27, my competitor beat me with a 6:16.45, and I didn’t get my hug. I then learned that I would have to have a shoulder surgery that would take me out of summer training and set me back even more for my senior year of swimming.
Fast forward to today. I am in the last steps of recovery, I have been voted team captain and will start training Monday for my last season and my last chance to make it to the state meet before I graduate. So, with this blog, you can almost be a part of my 10-12 practices a week, my meets, and my team captain duties.