Hello everyone! This blog post is written in honor of finishing my 18-year swimming career. Swimming's been a large part of my life ever since I was 3, almost as much as Michael has been. The sport itself has taught me an incredible amount of time management, teamwork, dedication, balance, and many more. It's a never-ending sport, with practices 6 times a week at 2-2.5 hours each as a child, and 20 hours a week during college. Some would call us insane, but that's just the beauty of the sport. As disheartening as this past season may have been due to various injuries/illnesses, I would still go back and do it again.
One of the best decisions of my life came through deciding to swim for UC San Diego. The school was a perfect fit-- the team was competitive, the Institution excels in the STEM field, and it was close to home. However, it still came with many challenges. Being a student-athlete is an incredible commitment, with practices counting up to 20 hours per week. Add early 5am morning practices and schoolwork to that load, and not to mention eating and sleeping, you've got little time leftover in the day. But it was still essential for me to see Michael as often as I could.
Over the past few years, I've grown so proud of Michael. He struggled so much when I first left home almost 4 years ago. Going on trips to the beach really calmed Michael down, and help ground and strengthen our relationship. It was those special moments sitting by the beach that were some of the most meaningful over the years. As you all know, Michael loves the ocean, but he also loves swimming! He would LOVE to visit me at our home dual meets at UC San Diego. My mom said he would always smile when he would see me go up to swim, and he enjoyed watching everyone race. Since we have an outdoor pool it's not as loud, so the loud cheering doesn't bother Michael as much as long as he's by a body of water.
But, Michael also loves to go swimming! It can be really difficult to find a great time for him to go, since he hates loud noises (so no little kids) and he has such a hard time keeping himself warm. The pictures above are from when I took him swimming back this past Labor Day weekend, and Michael had such a great time! Even though it was over 90 degrees outside he was still shivering, but that didn't bother him at all. I just put a couple of noodles under him, and he just kicks away. He loves getting to splash me and spin around in circles using his legs, so you could guess he's having the time of his life :)
I haven't yet taught him how to fully swim, since Michael's still not used to blowing bubbles, and just loves to sit on his noodles. Now that I'm done with collegiate swimming, it would be a great time to finally get Michael back into the water again! Either way, we've both always been water babies ever since we were little ;)