long live the swimmer
Growing up, it was common to hear, "I can't I have swim practice" coming from my friends and I. I always smelled like chlorine and may have been guilty of wearing a CAC shirt to school everyday. But, swimming was one of the biggest blessings in my life. I started to swim at the wee age of 4 and took to the water from that moment on. I swam for Colorado Athletic Club my entire career, under who I consider my biggest role model, Alexis Keto. In High School I was apart of the Varsity team for all four years. After that I was blessed with the opportunity to be a Division 1 athlete at the University of Hawaii. I had so many great moments, swims, trips, and friendship from this sport. Not to mention the hundreds of life lessons I got to learn in the journey.
Some of the coolest moments were when we got to travel. I went to 10 or so states during my career and got to compete at some awesome pools and awesome meets! I qualified for the Grand Pree Series which allowed me to swim at one of the fastest (and nicest) pools in Minnesota. Here I got to swim along side Olympians like Katie Hoff, Ryan Locte and Michael Phelps. Just to be in the same area, let alone the same pool, was one of the best experiences. I remember changing into my suit with my friend and Katie was just around the corner. We came screaming out to my coach, "I just saw Katie Hoffs butt!!" basically best day ever, ha!
There were so many unique trips like my first one ever to North Carolina. We went for a week and everyone of my team mates stayed with a different host family on the team we were practicing with. But the best, most unique, and rewarding trip was to Omaha. I qualified for the "Pre Trials Meet" which is the meet they hold at the Olympic Trial Pool just a month before trials to make sure everything with the pool and systems is working correctly. It was so amazing because they treated it just like Olympic Trials bringing us in the ready rooms and walking us behind our lanes. Not to mention its one of the fastest pools ever! Here I got to swim with a few Olympians, but just to swim a meet in their shoes was an experience I'll never forget.
My swim coach Alexis was not only the best coach, she was genuinely one of the best people I know! No matter if our problems came from the pool or life in general she would always go the extra mile to help you. I think having someone like that is so important in sports becuase they are the ones teaching us to believe in ourselves. I am only 5 feet tall and thought I could never swim for a D1 program. But Alexis believed in me so much and pushed me to the success she saw in me. Early on in my carreer I set the goal on my bucketlist, to be a D1 athlete, and without her I could have never done it.
Some of the best times of my swimming were spent on the Arapahoe High School Team. I was one of four girls to qualify for state all four years and even placed a few times! It was an all girls team and between our Cosmo, Icy Hot, and Lucky Rubber Ducky traditions I don't think I could have been surrounded by a more amazing group of gals. If they weren't already my best friends, by year four we basically felt like sisters. I would do anything to get back in the pool with them in my lane.
Another highlight in my career was my time as a D1 athlete. The perks, treatments, and equipment I was showered with was so cool! People knew who you were on campus. Besides all perks I made some great friendships and memories. We got to travel to California, and I was fortunate enough to qualify for all three travel meets that year, which was pretty awesome as a Freshman. I even placed and scored at conference which made my entire swimming career worth it. I loved growing up in the water. It truly taught me so many important things and gave me great friendships.
Swimming will teach you how to have time management, commitment, hard work, independece and teamwork, diciplane, respect and so so much more. Not to mention it is one of the best sports for your body! Between mucsel engagment and joint mobility, your body will thank you for taking that dip. I truly loved growing up in the water and wouldn't have traded it for a thing.