This post is part of series on my personal history. Enjoy!
When I was younger, I was a competitive swimmer. I wasn’t an olympic athlete, but I swam on a regular basis, everyday for at least two hours after school.
Unlike other sports, swimming isn’t exactly what I would call a “team sport”. Sure, you’ve got a coach and other people in a “team” swimming with you, but unless you’re doing a relay, swimming is very much an individual sport. Even when you’re competing, while you’ll be swimming against other people, at the end of the day, you’re success isn’t based on whether you finish first, it’s based on whether you beat your seed time or not.
Here are two things I learned from swimming:
- Time Management: Swimming practice can be a bitch, especially when you start school at 7.30 am, get around six hours of sleep after pulling an all-nighter studying. After classes end at 2.45pm, I usually had an hour-long break before practice started – and even then, I still had extracurricular activities to do before. I juggled a full IB course load during my junior and senior years while I was on the varsity team – keeping track of time and not slacking off was important if I was going to get any rest and stay awake for swim practice.
- Commitment: Being part of the varsity swimming team in high school was cool, but the ultimate goal for everyone in the team was to compete in the annual IASAS swimming competition to represent the school. Everyone had to try out to get into the varsity team at the beginning of the school year; but to get into the IASAS team, you had to perform well throughout the semester in order to be selected by the coach, so essentially being on the varsity team was a semester-long tryout. I didn’t get into IASAS during my first two tries (sophomore and junior year), however it was extremely satisfying when I got in on my senior year. I learned how to stay committed because of swimming.
Swimming during high school was awesome. I wasn’t the best at it, but it was a lot of fun. I liked to do short distance and medium-distance freestyle, so 50m, 100m and 200m.