A swimmer's Journey, 2012
February 14, 2018

When I was a young boy, I loved to play in the water. My older sister, Alex, started taking swimming lessons when she was 5, so when I turned 4, I asked my parents if I could take swimming lessons, too.
“Sure,” answered my mom and she signed me up at the Worthington pools. I went swimming on and off, because I would get ill often. When I didn’t have ear infections, I would try my best during the lessons. Soon after I turned six, I made it to level 4 in swim school.
That summer my sister tried out for swim team. After she swam, the coach asked my mom:
“Is the boy going to try out for swim team also?”
“He’s only in level 4 swimming; he may not be able to swim a full lap,” my mom replied.
“Let’s give it a try,” the coach said.
“Okay,” my mom agreed.
I swam the two longest laps in my life, I nearly drowned, but I made it in the swim team.
I started training with the bronze team 3 times a week. It wasn’t easy, I had to listen to the coach and learn the strokes, even when I was tired and unable to focus. Sometimes I felt like a kitten forced in to the water, but then I remembered that the difference between extraordinary and ordinary is that little “extra” effort that goes into making a dream come true.
Four years went by, I moved up in different groups, I won heats, and sometimes I placed in the top 20 swimmers in swim meets, but, most importantly, I kept training hard.
When I turned 10, I made it into “age group”; I started having longer practices with dry land and strength training. I went to a lot of competitions and I improved my times. I had a 50 breaststroke time that was very close to the state cut.
Shortly before the regional meet I asked my coach:
“How can I drop time and qualify for Junior Olympics?”
“You need to work on breaststroke technique “, answered the coach. “You still have a second to drop to qualify for Junior Olympics.”
“Can you tell me exactly what to do to swim faster?” I insisted.
“You have to make your pull smaller, kick harder, and don’t lift your head too high,” replied the coach.
“Okay,” I said. Every practice I focused on my technique and tried my best.
At the regional championship I went all out and, even though I didn’t make the time cut in the 50 breast stroke, I felt I swam like a dolphin. This was my best race so far! The coach chose me to swim breast stroke in the A relay team and we qualified in the State Championship.
I was so happy and proud that my hard work paid off!
Early that spring, I traveled to Bowling Green, OH, where the swimming Junior Olympics took place. Many people from all around the state came to this meet. It was a big honor for anybody to participate in the State Championship. I was thrilled to represent my team in the 200 Medley Relay event! All four of us swam well; even though we didn’t win, we placed in the top 20 teams in the state of Ohio.
I was happy and committed to train harder, so the next year I would qualify for the Junior Olympics and place among the top swimmers in the state. My parents were very proud of me and they encouraged me to keep working hard for this achievement.
Now I’m back in the pool, working hard, gliding through the water like a shark and looking forward to this year’s Junior Olympics.

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A swimmer's Journey, 2012
February 14, 2018
When I was a young boy, I loved to play in the water. My older sister, Alex, started taking swimming lessons when she was 5, so when I turned 4, I asked my parents if I could take swimming...
A swimmer's mile
January 22, 2018
“Eerrrrrrr” I hear the sound of the starter go off; its ricochet throws my head first and, in a blink of an eye, l am engulfed by frigid, clear-blue water. I glide through the pool feeling like a...