Last year around October I began to take swimming seriously by joining a club team. I had never been that fast, but I wanted to get to the point where I could really compete in our school league. My goal was not to be the best, but to consistently get better. I went to the practices daily and pushed myself as hard as I could.
When I started, I was the slowest one. All the girls and the other guys finished sets before me. Even when we worked on my fastest stroke, I couldn’t keep up with the kids who said they were bad at it. I felt so unworthy to swim with the kids there. They were all younger than me, yet they all outdid me with minimal effort. The one thing that I had in common with them was that I wanted to get better. I wanted to prove that although I started swimming really late in life compared to them, I had it in me to swim at the same level as them.
That motivation pushed me through months of work. The practices got harder and harder as time went by, and I was able to keep up with them. Slowly but surely I was able to keep up with more and more of the team. I was never content though, I always felt the need to keep pushing. I wanted to be competing with the best on our team, and I wanted to continue to improve.
Now I’m feeling a bit discouraged. I’ve continued working, but it seems like some of the people I was keeping pace with have left me in the dust. I’ve continued improving, but my rate of improvement has slowed drastically. For the past few weeks I’ve felt slow during practice. I’ve felt that feeling of not deserving to swim with the team again. To make matters worse, in two months I’ll be starting with a college team where I expect the standards will be higher. I don’t feel prepared at this point. I feel like despite all my effort, I will continue to be sub par.
This feeling is the exact opposite of what I want. I don’t want to quit, I don’t even want to pause. Swimming has become a sort of addiction to me. Whenever I’m in the water I feel a unique ecstasy that I don’t want to give up. Although at the moment my goals while in the water seem so far off that the feeling I get doesn’t cover my disappointment. I have my goal in mind and I want to stick to it, but it just seems so unrealistic right now. These doubts seem so childish, but I can’t shake them off when I can’t rely on myself to improve how I want.
I need to work for it until I find that spark again. My passion is misplaced at the moment, but I’m going to find it and push through the four years of college swimming I have ahead of me. I know that I have love for this sport, I just have to keep working until I stumble upon it again.