Wet is What I Live For | Teen Ink

Wet is What I Live For

May 31, 2008
By Anonymous

Joining the swim team last November may just be the craziest things I've ever decided to do.

The whole three months I was in it, I absolutely hated it. It was my first year swimming, and being on a school team just added more pressure. The insane amount of stress that added on me was insane and more than I could handle.

Several times I considered quitting. In fact, the only reason I didn't is because, well two reasons, number one being my mom would kill me. And number two being my own personal dignity. I mean seriously, how much of a wimp would I seem if I couldn't even make it through four months of my FAVORITE sport?

So I kept going. Anticipation filled me up on meet nights, and the more I stressed, the worse I did.

And even when I TRIED to relax, I still managed to choke.

The end of February finally came. The GAC's were here! Even better, Coach Cooper didn't put me in ANY events (although my backstroke time could've beaten several girls. Whatever.) I was extremely relieved. This was the last time I would have to stress over the water. That night I was so happy! Finnally! The thing that stressed me out was OVER!!! I was extremely happy.

So two dehydrated months went by, and I was doing just fine without swimming. And then, here I was in fourth hour, talking to Nicole about something stupid most likely, when Mr. Dunahue calls me up to my desk.

And my involuntary reaction was to freak. I started making a list of all the things I could be in trouble for. By the time I actually was standing at his oak desk, I was fully expecting some form of punishment for my unknown crimes.

But all he did was hand me a piece of paper. Thank God it wasn't small and rectangular- the detention slip. No, it was a reminder of the swimming banquet to be held at Anjelica's house (by the way, this took place Tuesday).

GREAT! I thought. Get to relive the horror!! I don't know why, but I was really not looking forward to it. Maybe it was because somewhere deep inside, I felt like I didn't accomplish ANYTHING my three months on the swim team, and that the other girls just saw me as an outcast. I knew I was one of the least experienced swimmers. I knew that everyone else was at least one level ahead of me.

So I get there, pretty early, and chilled with Anjelica. AKA, the girl who kept me swimming.

Dinner went by fairly quickly, and I had a pretty good time playing some extremely violent video game and ping pong. Then "awards time" came up.

Yeah right, like I'll win anything. So, I listened to Coach Cooper give all these awards out to our best swimmers (you know who you are!). It was actually slightly embarassing. I knew I wouldn't get anything.

But then Coach Cooper starts explaining how me and Olivia had made some great improvements for first years.

What? ME?!?!

And for some reason, her words stuck in my head. "These girls had to stick it out, and I know it wasn't easy for them, but hopefully they'll return next year and continue to improve."

WHAT?! These past five months I had been CONVINCED that swimming just wasn't cut out for me. And now I have a coach telling me that I should come back to IMPROVE SOME MORE?

I was in shock.

The next day I really thought about what she said. And how, whoa, I really DID make some improvements. And that the first year was probably the hardest. And that maybe I had been way too hard on myself in thinking I should be as good as these girls who had been swimming, some much longer than I.

So I talked to my mom.
Yeah, I know, shocker.

"Mom. Can I join the swim thing at the YMCA in North Carolina?"
"Why? I thought you never wanted to get another pool after the swim team?!"
"Well, yeah, but I think that if I just swam for a group for a year and then a regular team, I could catch up, and you know, regain that passion for water."

Thinking back, it's kinda unbelievable I would say that. I never thought that after the swim team I would go back.

But then again, the water was ME. I love that rush. I love that I can do a sport and not have to worry about my hair, or sweating.

Or bathroom breaks. (Just kidding!)

I was just BORN with that love for the water. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't just give that up.

"You think you can go a whole YEAR with practice every day?"
"Mom, I know I can."

Because wet is what I live for.

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