Water is and forever will be my element and freedom. Every time I jump or dive into the water to swim it gives me chills and a great sense of thrill. Not just because of the temperature of the water, but because of the amazing quietness and calm feeling I have in that liquid submerged world. I feel empowered as the weight of the world feels lifted from my body and my shoulders and it’s the best feeling ever. The weightlessness is just amazing and I have never felt a sensation equally liberating anywhere else. When I was a young swimmer growing up, one of my favorite things to do was just dive down under the water and swim around looking from one end of the pool to the other. I think that is how it would feel if I could actually fly. The fluid feeling of being able to move any part of my body in any direction and have it impact the rest of my body is unmatched in any other form of motion on earth. It’s fascinating how things can move through the water. Ever since my first experiences submerged in my world of water I have always calculated movement through my eyes under the water. Our body reacts so differently in water. This is why it is such a complicated world for most people. They don’t know how to look at it, understand it, feel it or use it to their advantage.
Swimming and being in water has been a part of my life since I was about three years old. I was unable to go under water until I was five because of having tubes in my ears. But boy, when I got my tubes out and could go under water that was the beginning of the end for me. My mom tells me that the first thing I did when I jumped into the water was the butterfly stoke, which is one of the hardest strokes to learn. I had spent so much time just watching my siblings and other swimmers that I had inadvertently studied the way their bodies moved in the water. How they placed their hands in the water, how their hips moved, how their legs thrust up and down for propulsion. My brain and body just understood it. I wish other things in my life came as easy as swimming did for me. I just took to swimming like I was made to do it, and I guess I was.
I was always very competitive and fast for my young age. From the very beginning, skipping over swim lessons all together, I went right into racing older kids because there wasn’t an age group to race in. I competed with the high school kids for fun because my mom was the coach and though it would motivate them by trying to swim down the littlest kid on the starting blocks. All through high school I competed for state championship titles and even contemplated a college team but I was so burned out of competing and being in the pool about 4-6 hours a day most of my life, I needed a break. This is where triathlons came into my life. As I started to compete and come out of the water almost always in the lead people wanted to know how I did it. They would ask, “How can you travel through the water so fast and so effortlessly?” So that’s what got me into coaching and trying to take what my body and mind did naturally so I could help others learn to do it as well. So others could be indulged with having their own amazing world and experience in water like I have grown so accustomed to and love.
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