How did you first get involved with swimming?
I started swimming at the age of two. My parents put me in the water at an early age because we live in a beach town and they wanted me to learn for safety reasons, but I quickly fell in love with being in the water. My swim instructor, who was also the coach of the swim team, suggested I join. So, I joined my first competitive team at the age of six.
When did you start to think you could swim in college?
I have always known that I love swimming and that I would want to continue it for as long as possible. I always knew it was an option for me, but it really became real for me when I began to get emails and letters and calls from college coaches asking if I had any interest in swimming at their schools. My junior year I thought I wanted to take a gap year and possibly do AmeriCorp, but I knew that if I did that I wouldn’t be able to swim in college because I would be too far behind everyone else so I decided my senior year that if I could get a scholarship I would definitely go to college and swim.
How does this team compare to other teams you have been on in the past?
This team is unlike any team I have ever been on. I have only been on two seperate club teams in the past and they had both boys and girls. This team is only girls because of Title IV. It is empowering to be one of the only all women’s teams on campus and making a name for ourselves. I have always been close with my teammates in the past, but this team is extremely dedicated and amazingly supportive. These girls on the team have been with me through some of the toughest times of my life already and have really helped shape me into the adult I want to be in the future. I know the relationship I have with them will continue in the future and I hope we all stay close.
What’s the most frustrating thing has happened in your swimming career?
The most frustrating thing for me was probably when I injured my shoulder freshman year of high school. I had just started swimming in high school and I really wanted to continue swimming with my club team as well, so I was practicing twice a day, at least three days a week. I started to feel shoulder pain not long after I started doing two practices a day because of over usage. It got to the point where I couldn’t finish a practice so I had to go to physical therapy and was out of swim for a few months. I still went to practices to be supportive, but it was hard to see my teammates in the water. Sometimes it will still bother me to this day because we are swimming six days a week with lifts twice a week and it will get irritated which makes it hard for me to do my second favorite stroke, butterfly. I am hoping that in the future it won’t get worse and I can find ways to ease the pain.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
The best piece of advice I have ever been given was probably from my dad and it does not particularly relate to swimming but to life in general. He tells me to “enjoy the moment” a lot because I am a very anxious person and tend to worry a lot about the future especially with swim. He always tells me to worry about the now and enjoy what is right in front of you. For my birthday present this year, he surprised me by taking me to a tattoo parlor to have it tattooed on my body because I have always wanted to have it on me as a reminder.
Is there anything you think about while you’re swimming?
I am constantly thinking while I swim. Random thoughts are always racing through my head and most of the time I can’t recall what exactly they are because I have always done this since I was little. Usually I am thinking about a million different things at once like, ‘what am I going to have for dinner?,’ ‘what lap am I on right now?,’ singing the lyrics of a song, etc.
What are your plans for swimming after college? Unfortunately, unless you are an amazing swimmer and are planning on qualifying for the Olympics, there are not many options for swimmers after college besides Masters Swimming. This is where anyone of any age can compete in specific ‘masters meets.’ When I graduate I will probably take a couple years off from swimming just because it has been so rigorous throughout my entire college career and has been very taxing on my body. But I couldn’t imagine not swimming and will definitely continue to do it for the rest of my life and hopefully teach my kids. When I am retired, I also plan on eventually becoming a swim coach and possibly taking over the club team of the one where I learned how to swim.