The Student News Site of East Grand Rapids High School

Diving into something new

June 2, 2019

I always thought that I’d swim in college, but then I decided not to.

My decision to not continue my swimming career wasn’t because I had stopped loving the sport, it was because I had begun to love it in a different way.

I loved my high school swim season more than anything: the comradery of the team, the memories made, and the healthy competition between my teammates made me extremely happy, but it wasn’t enough for me to continue.

So, knowing that it was my last season, I wanted to embrace every aspect of the sport and all those “last times.”

I walked onto the State Meet deck, feeling the butterflies in my stomach as the realization hit me that this was the last time I was ever going to be competing for the sport I’ve spent countless hours training for.

It was the last time, after spending the majority of my weekends at swim meets, every night of the week in the pool for at least two hours, and waking up at 5 a.m. to get into the freezing cold pool.

The end of the state meet was an indescribable experience, not just because we won the championship, but because I finally felt completely accomplished and content with the fact that this phase of my life was over.

All these last times made me more grateful for learning that being a leader means not only being strong, but being vulnerable, and allowing others to open up to you.

These last times made me grateful for learning how to be confident as a swimmer, but also to be confident outside of the pool.

These last times made me grateful for learning how to work hard to achieve your goals.

These last times made me grateful for the friendships that I have made with people that I might not have met if it hadn’t been for swimming.

And these last times taught me that swimming doesn’t define me and I am so much more than just a State Champion swimmer.

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