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I overcame throwing in the towel

Joined: 5/26/2011
Posts: 1
Swimming is my life and has been for over half my life. I am a very seasoned swimmer and have competed with the best in the world. This past year, though, I seriously considered quitting, giving up, surrendering.
For the past year, I pushed myself to a point of exhaustion that has scared my friends, family, and me. I would come home after practice, struggle through dinner, head up to my room with my backpack, close the door behind me, and collapse on the floor still carrying my backpack. I would sleep there the way I went down. I started considering quitting at the Winter CA/NV Sectionals after my 100 Yard Breaststroke. I swam so slow that I did not even hit the qualifying time for the meet. It was a huge disappointment and I started wondering whether those intense practices were worth a time like that. I was training twenty-three hours a week not including commute and other time I spend at the pool. In the end, I was committing close to twenty-eight hours a week to swim alone. This left me about two to three hours a day for homework if I wanted to get six hours of sleep. This is a tiny amount of time for homework when I am trying to balance four AP classes, two of which I have been told are two of the hardest AP classes in the school. Quitting seemed real tempting for a while.
I was debating on sticking to swimming or trying out for a running team. I am a strong runner and could excel in it if I wanted. Plus, running does not require as much of a time commitment. The main reason that I chose to keep swimming was the people that I got to know in the sport. Spending that much time with the same people for years builds strong bonds of friendship despite our many different personalities and interests. For the most part, the only thing that we all have in common is that we swim. I have come to see them as family, a very interesting and quirky family, but family nonetheless. I would do anything for this family and I do not think that I would be able to go for an extended period of time without seeing them. They are the only ones besides my actual family that I have spent enough time with to actually trust completely. My swim family means too much to me to be able to leave behind easily.
I am glad that I chose to keep swimming because I would regret it too much if I had quit. This past CIF’s, I broke a twenty-nine year old school record with some of my best friends in the medley relay and made it into the championship finals for the first time individually in my entire high school career. The though of quitting still crosses my mind sometimes but not quitting was the best choice I have made.
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