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The Olympic Spirit - My Time

Joined: 10/29/2013
Posts: 7
I am a swimmer. Up until last year I trained every single day.
When I was little I dreamed of becoming an Olympic swimmer. I used to see flashes of dreams – me swimming in the rain, diving from the block and finally swimming the last stroke, touching, looking back and realizing that I had won.
So I trained. But I wasn’t very lucky. My school never let me take off to swim. My parents thought I was unrealistic and never encouraged me when they could have. They spent a lot of time telling me why I didn’t have a chance. I was soft, slow and definitely not sporty. But I loved water and loved to swim. And so I pushed myself and pushed myself and pushed myself. I began to lose my plumpness, my softness. I trained more often and I picked up stamina and speed. Gradually I was able to hold my own in any sport.
I shall never forget the first time that I won. The first medal that really meant something. It was a culmination of a lot of things - waking before dawn, smelling of chlorine and of sweating a lot. After that I started swimming in many such competitions.
It was when I started swimming higher levels that I didn’t place at all. Six times, every six months I swam in the states. I never got better. I heard whispers of how “this girl is SLOW”, and “nobody needs to worry about her” and after a point it was embarrassing to take part. Finally, my coach lost interest in me. I’m still trying to figure out whether it was talent or just conviction that I lacked.
Whatever I was, wasn’t enough then. And now time has passed and I have realized I will not reach where I once wanted to. I didn’t have what was really needed and it was only stubbornness and an inability to let go of what I had that kept me going back, again and again.
This sport gave a soft and quiet mouse confidence, courage and determination. I learnt how to keep going when I have nothing in left in me- physically and emotionally. I learnt that a team can become family. I learnt that I don’t have to be hurt by what others think. I learnt competition and kindness and humility. How to win and how to lose. These things I have gained have become the most precious thing that I have ever achieved. These things are the Olympic spirit that I keep forever inside of me.
Today I still train. Because I love it. I couldn’t get where I want to be but I can still dream. And whatever happens, I will always, always be a swimmer.
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