Some would look at it and just think it's a bag.
A bag that's pink and purple with scales all over it, making it look like a mermaid tail.
It's more than just a bag used for equipment and towels and water bottles and sneakers.
This bag is the treasure chest of one of the deepest passions of an athlete.
The bag is decorated with tags from meets and keychains. The porg keychain for the "Star Wars" lover, a frog that's been on countless soccer bags before it found its way to the pool deck, soda can tabs on a keyring that is accompanied by a keychain for a restaurant chain from where the bag owner was born, a bag tag from a concert to represent the love of music, and a guitar keychain from her dad that's green just like her school colors.
The bag also has a Spider-man keychain to show the love of superheroes and Marvel comics and movies, an Ariel keychain for the Disney side of the swimmer, a bracelet from a former teammate, and old admission bands tied to the top of the bag from other pools that were swam at.
Inside the bag is sharpies to mark events on a swimmer's arm, caps that rip out little baby hairs and represent a team or a holiday, goggles that are vital to a swimmer to actually swim and see under the water, hair ties and empty bottles of sunscreen and water litter the biggest pocket where a towel and clothes sit waiting patiently to be used.
To some, the bag is a bit old and tattered and just a bag, but to a swimmer, it's everything.
The bag holds memories of dry land workouts and swim practices that were challenging or fun or exciting. The bag holds the passion and dedication of a swimmer and all the long, hard hours spent on the deck or in the pool, trying to drop just milliseconds off of a time.
The bag sees all the heartbreak of adding time and practices gone wrong and the heartfelt moments of getting best times at meets and unbreakable bonds between swimmers.
The tattered bag has a faint perfume of chlorine, as does the owner, but the bag also holds the drive and passion for something great and the dreams of every swimmer.
The bag goes on every new adventure to a new pool and is a representation of each swimmer individually and all the memories, good or bad, they have attached to the sport they love and are passionate for.