This morning as I get ready to leave for Omaha, I can’t help reflect on the people and events that have brought me to this point. It was less than eight years ago that I showed up on the pool deck for my placement swim. I was just shy of my ninth birthday full of confidence and short on experience. I guess things never change. Since then I have had seven different coaches who have all contributed in some way to my being here. I have made many life long friends some who still swim and others who have chosen a different path.
Coach Bahr was my first coach. I will never forget my first meet. I had never swum anything but a 25 yard race, 50’s seemed so long, and then there was that back stroke flip turn that I had never heard of or seen. Coach Bahr encouraged my to give it a try. I did-I was DQ’ed. That race taught me that thru our failures we learn our greatest lessons. It gave me a place to start, a place from which to build. Thank you Coach Bahr.
Throughout the next few years in the age group program I swam with Coach Chris and Nancy. They taught me technique and discipline. Nancy taught me to expand my horizons. One season she only let me swim the backstroke once, she thought I was picking my races. She made me focus on the events I didn’t like (those that I didn’t think I was good at.) I went from being absolutely the worst breaststroker to making finals in the 200 breaststoke at J.O’s. While I am still not a breastroker, it sure helped my IM. Thank you Nancy and Chris for making me face my weaknesses.
My first experience in the Senior Program was with Coach Zubero. There is no other coach with as much patience and understanding. Those couple of years I was faced with many serious health issues and without him there to continue to support me each time I fell, I would probably not have continued in the sport. He was able to keep me believing on days that I wanted to give up and somehow trained me through it all. My vision was that he would be by my side when I swam at trials. While he won’t be with me physically, he will be there in my heart. Thank you Coach Zubero, for being my coach and friend.
Besides the coaches, my friends have played a crucial role in my swimming. Many of them have been there since they day I started. They are the reason that I came to practice and worked hard. It’s the undeniable “social” part of swimming that is so important. Without this group of talented swimmers who came to race everyday at practice and challenge me for that slot on the relay or place in first interval I would still be blowing bubbles. Thank to those who have been around since I started, Caitlin, Casey, Taylor, Kendall, Kylee, Ellie and everyone else who has joined us along the way.
To my parents, thank you for everything, for always being there to support me and take me to those early morning workouts...
Last but not least, Coach Sergio. I trust you and believe that I am ready. I hope that I do not let you down. Thank you for sharing this experience with me.
Well I have never been short on words. If only I could type as fast as I talk, I could have written a book.