Ode to Swimming

I have a love hate relationship with swimmingIt seems like it’s up and down every weekBut my tolerance has grown over eight yearsNow I know how to deal with it.I spend so many hours in the poolAll the tears and disappointing memories fadeWhen I win a race or make a time standard,Everything becomes worth it.My pulse shoots through the roofWhen I’m in the state finals racing to be the topWaiting for the beep,I hold my breath.The greatest thing is to see my goal time on the scoreboardA smile spreads across my face as I gasp for precious airI’ve worked so hard to drop even millisecondsI’ve tweaked every detail of my stroke to beat my opponent.I live for the moments that I want to last foreverThose times where I am one with the waterOr the practices where I feel like an OlympianAnd I feel like I love swimming again.Like those silent moments under the waterWhere all the noises are blocked outWhere I concentrate on my heart beatAnd everything seems to slow.Like practicing in the summerAt six or seven in the morning and the cold water wakes me upThe sun peeks over the trees around us and kisses our skinI wish I could freeze time.But sometimes I really wish I never became a swimmerSuper hard practices start to burn me outExerting myself so much to the point I can barely moveAnd pushing past my limits without stopping for a break, hurts me.Many times my cap has ripped or my goggles breakI’ve have been disqualified for the smallest errorsI get emotionally hurt by expectations not being met and disappointment with myselfSometimes I just wish I could leave the practice and never come back.Those are days when I am swimming and wondering why I do itThe days where I want to throw my cap on the deck and screamThe days where I am so stressed that I break into tearsBut those days come and go.When it gets tough my friends are there to help me upMy family is always at the end of my lane cheering me onMy coach’s arms are there wide open when I need an embraceMy teammates are there to watch my races.But, overall swimming helps me release my stressGet away from the worldJust the water and meMy second home with my second mom and swim team family.


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