Let go of the past and embrace the future

Ashley Ward, News Editor

For the past 13 years, swimming has been one of the biggest parts of my life.

All throughout elementary and middle school, I absolutely loved to swim. My days were comprised of two hour swim practices, my weekends with ten hour long swim meets.

My whole life revolved around swimming; if you would have asked me five years ago, I would have assured you that in the future I would swim collegiately.

I never lost my love for the sport of swimming, but it definitely shifted as I entered high school. While I loved my four months each year being a member of the varsity swim team, the other eight months I found it difficult to maintain my love for the sport, and continue practicing and racing my hardest.

I considered swimming in college, but my heart was never 100 percent set on continuing swimming for four more years. Growing up in the swimming community, it was an expectation to continue the sport in college. I felt like I was pressuring myself into continuing to swim; I had never gone more than a few weeks without swimming and it was strange to think about being done with swimming forever after my senior year swim season. Two months after I had swam in my final swim meet, I decided not to continue swimming in college.

While it felt weird to think that I was officially a “swammer,” I didn’t completely feel like I was done with the sport, as I felt as if that part of me wouldn’t ever truly leave. While six years ago I was going to summer swim camp at the University of Michigan, next year I will be attending solely for academics. Although I won’t be continuing my swimming career, my ties to the sport won’t ever really go away.

I will never forget everything the sport of swimming has done for me the past thirteen years, every morning practice, every test set, and every championship win. Letting go of my love for the sport of swimming was undoubtedly one of the hardest hings for me to do, yet I am so excited to start the next chapter of my life not being a swimmer.