I like waking up at five in the morning. I like getting screamed at by a twenty-something-year-old man to work harder, to go faster, to stop slacking off. I like bumming rides off of friends to conserve gas so that I can afford to spend $60 on a nylon/lycra blend suit so modest that your average high school girl wouldn't be caught dead in it. In a word? Swimming. In five words: I am obsessed with it. This sport is so far past a hobby for me that it would take more breaths than my lungs have held, more words than my tongue has spoken for me to explain my love of it to you in full. The endorphins are a big part of it. The natural high after swimming and finishing and defeating an impossible set or better yet winning a race is my favorite feeling, and I can't help but pity those who have never had a chance to experience it. Then again, that's not all there is to it. There's the team. The people. Some of them are fast, some of them aren't, but they all get it. They've all been through what you've been through. You've encouraged them and joked with them when they were falling behind; they yelled "three more, just three more" at you when you were slipping and you felt like crying and giving up. Swimming isn't my anti-drug. It's my drug. And I more than like it. It's my obsession.
December 18, 2008