Yesterday I turned on the television just in time to see a little bit of the USA swimming Olympic Trials.  Oh man, did it have me feeling nostalgic.

This is why I love the Olympics:  swimming is about the only sport I "get" and so it's nice that every four years, it's easy to watch it on tv and information about the sport is readily available.  I'm not a very gifted athlete.  My hand eye coordination is abysmal at best.  But I can swim.  For twelve years of my life I was a competitive swimmer.  I was okay at swimming -- not horrible by any means, but I wasn't winning a state championship title either...  I knew swimming would never take me to college or the Olympics, but I still loved the sport and enjoyed doing it.  Swimming becomes your life when you decide to be competitive.  I practiced 3 hours a day at least 6 days a week, sometimes jumping in the water before school too -- and holidays were just an excuse to have double or triple practices.  Some of my very best friends swam with me and that's what kept me at it more than anything (because, like I said, I wasn't spectacular at the sport).  It kept me in shape and taught me many lessons.  A lot of those lessons are thanks to Coach.  But writing about Coach is another post.  Let's just say, he was one of the greatest men I have ever met (and probably will ever meet).  

But turning on the television to see those swimmers getting ready for their event... I could smell the chlorine and feel the thick air in the natatorium and I instantly went back in my mind to high school (& middle school & elementary...).  To waiting around in my parka trying to remain completely dry before my heat, to Annie asking me to help her with her cap (she could never put it on right herself), to adjusting my goggles constantly, to snuggling up with Kristin & Elizabeth in our sleeping bags while we waited endlessly to be called up to the clerk of course, to hearing Coach's distinct whistle on my last 25 of the 500 free, to sitting up in the bleachers while we watched the diving meet during the middle of the swim meet, to singing in the showers after a looooong swim practice with dryland conditioning afterwards, to seeing Coach wearing a different version of the same shirt every. single. practice, and to him being the perfect example of the message he had printed on those shirts "Attitude is Everything."

So I'm looking forward to the Olympics.  I'm excited to watch the swimming events.  I'm glad it reminds me of a time in my life when no matter how hard I scrubbed, my skin always smelled like chlorine.

[the picture is of my home pool that I swam in for many many many years.  I got it off of the Colonel Aquatics site.  ColA was one of the three teams I swam for over the years.]


  1. I swam for many years when I was younger and I get terribly nostalgic during the summer Olympics. I remember a few years ago, I couldn't sleep for hours because I kept thinking about the starting position for the backstroke (my specialty) and waiting for the whistle. Where did you swim? I swam for Arlington.

    1. Arlington (Country Club, summers): ages 6-17, Colonel Aquatics (USA [used to be USS] swimming, year-round travel team): ages 10-15, and Model Varsity Swimming (middle & high school: ages 12-18). All teams were coached by Coach Cahill -- love him so much!!!

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