A Heartfelt Goodbye To Competitive Swimming

MineKasapoglu--44 - swimming

A Heartfelt Goodbye To Competitive Swimming

Swimming,

Throughout my life, you stood by my side. So few memories I have do not contain you. You nurtured me as a child, raised me through my teenage days, and shaped me into an adult these past few years. Without you, I don’t know what I could have been, nor do I ever want to know that path. 

Yet, as I say this, I know this wasn’t always the case. At one point, I despised you. I turned my back on you because I thought you shunned me first. My world broke down and I wandered around in darkness for months. My apathy grew, my anger at everything boundless. When I hit the lowest point, I had no choice but to look inward and all I could see was you. My frustration with you became my downfall and with you I found salvation. 

Without realizing, our relationship transformed. I no longer swam for the passion I had once had, rather only seeking goal times. Forever chasing an unattainable future without recognizing what originally drove me to swim. This was unstable and when I had the worst season I ever had, it ruined all the love I had for you. Yet your love for me never left.

We started again as kids going to summer club. Just a few times a week, clamoring around great friends and teammates. Days got brighter and joy came immediately. I was reminded of the life you gave me. I found passion again, childlike wonderment and love held for you. With one year remaining, I came back renewed,  happy to finish off this journey with an epic conclusion. And we more than redeemed our past. I am content with the way it ended.   

Now, the days of competition, gone, quickly receding into the past with nothing I can do to stop it. The life I have always known is dramatically changing over such a short amount of time. My college experience is almost done. No longer will the structure of school and practice guide my routine, no longer providing security and certainty. My friends. Relationships forged and strengthened by your trials and tribulations, about to go our separate ways. That safety net that laid before me, nearing two decades, is about to be pulled away. In that sense, I feel nothing but terror.

But that terror spans the line, transforming into courage and excitement. The lessons that you taught me resonated and will lead to an exciting future, one where I give back as much as you have given to me. I will stand amongst the foremost of pioneers, evolving the possibilities of swimming with every chance I get. You founded my past, restored my present, and represent my future. In you, I find a life-long companion and driving force. You make me strive to be better. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Noah Mitchell

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Stella Preissler
6 months ago

You don’t have to stop. Join usms.org masters swimming is huge. Find a master’s team in your area and continue to build swimming friendships and do meets. Masters Nationals and world FINA meets. There’s a whole new world of masters swimming waiting for you!

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Edd
6 months ago

Yes is unfair , I am going to join the 90 year swimming team because at 40 I feel like 90 and make it unfair too.

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Tom Gerard
6 months ago

Just swim when ever they asked Esther Williams something she just a nswerved
I swim !

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Tom Gerard
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom Gerard

And she never got to compete for Gold in the 1940 or 1944 Olympics because of the War. She lived well into her 90s swimming almost every day. Of course she got to go to Hollywood instead…

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I C
6 months ago

Take some time. There’s a whole world out there beyond swimming. Explore it. But others are right, if you ever want to come back, masters is a similar but different experience.

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Kim
4 months ago

Just like swimming, something else will come along that will inspire you as a person. New relationships will be formed and old friendships can be rekindled. That’s what’s so great about life. Your possibilities are endless.

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