It’s no lie, I love swimming. I love watching it, reading about it, speaking about it, actually doing it. I have been presented with so many opportunities because of swimming, I have been lucky enough to go all over the world to compete, meeting incredible people who share the same passion as I do. This  has given me the opportunity to learn more,  not only about the sport, but about so many other things too. It’s all been incredible.

Photo – Kathy Worden

As this summer draws to an end, I have realized more and more how important it is to give back to the sport that has given so much. As many of you are probably aware, I am an assistant coach at The Spokane Waves swim club and I have the privilege of working with some pretty cool little kids every day. Although it is hard to match the energy and enthusiasm these kids bring to the pool everyday I think I have learned almost as much about swimming from them as they have from me. Every one of these kids has a pretty impressive amount of potential inside of them, for some of them it is busting to come out and all they need is the smallest opportunity, for others it’s a little more hidden and requires a little more digging, but regardless of where that potential lies when they get going I’m blown away.

Photo – Jessi Thompson

I like to believe that the investment that I am making in these kids lives will stay with them for the rest of their lives just as the investment made by all of my special coaches has stayed with me through the years. I like to think that through the swimming they will learn many important life lessons and skills that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives. And I like to believe that each one of these kids will grow up to be successful in whatever it is that they choose to do with their life.

Photo – Kathy Worden

Through the time spent with these young swimmers I have learned many cool things that I have been able to apply to my own swimming, from balancing in the water to learning to “breathing like a hippopotamus” when I swim butterfly.  I have learned to have a little more fun while I swim. They  have reminded me that this is just a sport, this is not the be-all-and-end-all of my life. It is ok to have a splash fight between sets at practice, or just have a laugh and a joke with your coach.

Photo – Kathy Worden

I am extremely grateful for the job that I have, for the chance to work with such cool little people. Thank you Waves Kids 🙂