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Day 10: I ♥ Swimming

May 15, 2011

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I’m taking a slightly different approach to this.  They didn’t say first person you loved.  Besides, when you’re younger, it’s puppy love, which is a whole different thing than the real thing.  Also, my first kiss is just not worth talking about.  It was awful, and even though it was my first kiss, I knew it was bad.  Really bad.

So here’s my thing…swimming.  My first true love. 

My parents had me in the pool at 6 weeks old.  I was meant to be a water baby, I loved it from day one.  Once I really understood what the pool was, they had a whole lot of trouble on their hands. 

Picture 013 Picture 012 (Don’t I look a little like Aaron?)

We belonged to a pool club that had a huge pool, and a gated baby pool.  Since I was a baby, we would stay there and I was expected to play in the pool with the other kids.  I don’t know if it was hearing my dad call it the “piss palace,” or the fact that I thought I was way too cool for that pool, but I wanted nothing to do with the baby pool.  If my parents looked away for even a second, I was making a dash for the gate so I could go into the big pool.  The lifeguards knew to look out for me.  The baby pool just wasn’t worth it when there was this huge pool for me to play in.

When I was 4, I passed the swim club’s deep water test.  I had to swim 25 yards, then tread water for 30 seconds.  At the time, I was the youngest person to ever pass.  This allowed me to use the deep end (5 feet) and go off the diving board.  I was fearless.  Then when I was 5, I joined the swim team.  I didn’t get that I was exercising, I just loved to swim.  Back and forth, back and forth all afternoon.  I was a fierce little competitor too, bringing home a shoebox full of blue 1st place ribbons, and plaques and trophies, summer after summer. 

When I was 8, I began to swim year round.  My mom drove a half hour so I could practice, then we spent full weekend days at these never ending swim meets.  I swam in the winter until right before high school.  I had too many other things going on, and had lost interest.  I was still in a pool all the time, since I lifeguarded and taught swim lessons, but I had no desire to swim, except for the occasional half hour or so of laps.

Senior year once I had decided on Brandeis, I contacted the swim coach out of curiosity, but never followed through.  Senior summer kept me busy and I just didn’t think I wanted to start swimming again.  I had forgotten all about swimming until I met Rachel.  Somehow she managed to convince me that I should check out the swim team during the preseason, so I did.  Rachel seemed awesome, and if everyone was that much fun, count me in!  We had so much fun-we swam, played water polo, ultimate frisbee and went camping.  By the time the real swim season started, I was so excited to be swimming again.

As soon as I decided to join the Brandeis Swimming and Diving Team (BUSDT), I was hooked all over again.  I wasn’t very fast, especially after taking 4 years off, but it came back to me.  My stroke was never great (a race official once asked my friend how I got anywhere since I swim freestyle with curiously straight arms), and I complained a lot, but I still loved it.  I screwed up both of my shoulders, hurt my ankle, ruined a Tiffany bracelet in the chlorine and lost a lot of contact lenses swimming, but I wouldn’t trade any of it.  Swimming kept me active and busy, plus enabled me to memorize tons of songs while I went back and forth, back and forth for hours.

I don’t know if it’s the swimming or being part of a team that I loved the most.  Either way, joining BUSDT was one of the best things for me in college.  It brought me back to my first real love, gave me structure and gave me some of the best friends ever. 

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I don’t necessarily know what it was about swimming that drew me in so, or why I love it the way I do, but there will always and forever be a piece of me that will want to swim.  I still smile when I smell chlorine, and find myself saying “this one time, at swim practice” way too often.  Maybe it’s being on a team, and maybe it’s the sport itself, but this is a love that has stayed with me my whole life.  Swimming has really shaped who I am.  My heart belongs to it forever ♥.

ROLL ‘DEIS ROLL!!!

Was your first love a person or a thing?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2011 8:22 am

    Haha I did the same thing as you when I was doing a 30 day challenge… I said my first love was my teddy bear 🙂 I mean seriously, who wants to discuss high school boyfriends on the blog? haha.

  2. Robin Harpak permalink
    May 16, 2011 11:33 am

    BUSDT, Roll ‘Deis Roll! Without that team, I wouldn’t know you. Thank goodness you love swimming :).

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