Tonight we had the chance to watch our grand-niece’s swim meet, and it must have been the smell of the chlorine that triggered so many wonderful memories of the sport I love.
Swimming was a big part of my life for 12 years, having been a competitive swimmer from about 9 years old until I graduated from college. While there were some mornings when it was tough to get out of bed at 6:00 and jump into a cold pool, I don’t recall missing more than a handful of practices during high school and college. We also had afternoon practices every day of the week and hit the school gym three times per week. We were willing to devote so much time to swimming because we loved the sport.
Swimming gave me the chance to learn about sportsmanship and goal setting. It also gave me the opportunity to do a bit of traveling.
It also gave me the opportunity to make some great friends. Most of my friends in high school and college were my fellow swimmers, and I’ve stayed in touch with many of them, 40 years later.
I’ve often wished I had had a chance to coach swimming, but it never seemed to work out. My only contact with the sport over the years since college has been going to meets where I know someone competing or coaching, and watching the Olympics on TV every four years.
Watching the meet tonight made me realize how much I miss all of it.
I hope my grand-niece and the other swimmers have the same opportunity to find something they love, and the opportunity to develop close friendships, doing what they love.