1. My team
You spend so much time with these people, they all know the struggle of waking up early and jumping into a freezing cold pool. They understand missing school because of meets and being so tired all the time. Getting the weird looks when you go to the beach and you have a white stomach. They are family and while you might not all get along, they will always have your back.
2. Oddly enough, the tan lines
Yeah, the pale stomach wasn't the best but it was kinda like the brand. You saw the tan lines and it reminded you of the sport that you spent most of your time doing. And your legs were always super tan so that made up for the pale stomach!
3. Smelling like chlorine all the time
No matter how many times you showered the smell never went away, it was always lingering on you but honestly, I miss it now.
4. The workout
It was a full body workout, I was in the best shape of my life when I was swimming. I miss just swimming.
5. The adrenaline
When you get up on the starting block, and they tell you to take your mark, and you're waiting to hear the beep. Your heart is beating so fast. All you're thinking about is beating your time and finishing.
6. Local meets/Travel meets
The road trips with your friends, going somewhere for the weekend, getting to leave school early or skipping a day altogether. Sometimes getting to go do some cool activity as a team during the downtime. It was just a fun time, it was basically a mini vacation. And if it was a local meet, most of the time there was a team lunch or dinner after, or sometimes we had sleepovers so we could carpool to the meet the next day.
7. Ice baths, surprisingly
I mean if you took one you know how painful they were, but they were part of being an athlete.
8. Getting new gear
Most teenager girls wanted a new phone case or some jewelry. But I wanted a new cap, goggles, bathing suit, speedo bag, new equipment, all of it. It was so much fun to be able to get that package in the mail and wear the new gear to practice the next day.
9. Meet warm-up
This was such a mess, so many people trying to warm up in only a few lanes. It was crazy, but the chaos was all part of being a swimmer. I would love to be a part of the chaos again if that meant I could be in a cap and goggles again.
10. Going to practice every day
Before/after school and sometimes on Saturday mornings even though I was so tired, jumping in that pool was the best feeling. Starting warmup then swimming for two to three hours. Even though most of the time I wished I was somewhere else, deep down I was happy to be there.
Nowadays I miss it all the time. I reminisce about the days that my friends and I would laugh about our goggle tan or complain about how sore we were. All the meets and everything in between. I would give anything to be able to go back to this life. Even though I did it for 10 years I wish I could have done it for 10 more.