Swimming is a very selfish and individual sport. More so, in my opinion than many other individual sports like tennis or track & field because of the medium that we work in everyday. The water doesn’t allow you to communicate while you train, it sucks you into a world of confinement filled with a blurry view of a black line and a pace clock… Your ears are filled with commands yelled by a guy who did his time, and is now making sure you do yours. Your head is filled with goals and dreams… and the last thing coach yelled before you pushed off the wall.  You may try, but but unless you make a noble effort, despite being in a lane with 5 or 6 other people as you train, you work on your own, and how well you work will determine how well you race…

One day last spring, while surfing the web, procrastinating on some homework assignment I came across this…  “The most powerful thing that I have learned is how amazing it is to swim for something greater than yourself” It is a quote from South African Olympian, Jean Basson talking about his experience swimming for the University of Arizona.

That quote rocked my world. I re-read it… It changed the way I saw where I was, who I was swimming with and what I was involved in. It made me realize that there is so much to our team than the guys and girls that are on it now, there is so much more to this team than just me.

When I begin to think about the history of the Whitworth Swim Team, about the guys that got it all started, about the men and women, who before I was even born were grinding up and down the pool in the Aquatic Center preparing themselves for Conference Championships and Nationals, I am overcome with pride, thankfulness and motivation. I am proud that I have the privilege to join such an incredible team and swim with such incredible people. I am proud of what Whitworth Swimming has stood for and what we as a team have accomplished over the years. I am thankful for all those that came before us. I am grateful for the legacy they have created, for the stories they left us with, for making this program what it is today. And I am motivated, motivated to keep the tradition, to remember that no matter how successful or unsuccessful I am personally as a swimmer, I am part of something much much bigger than myself, and I am incredibly excited to add to what has been achieved already.

As a Freshman and for most of my Sophomore year I didn’t realize or fully understand all of this. I had a hard time seeing more than the present moment or the task at hand. As I know grow wiser in my years, I am so happy that I figured this out before I was finished with my years at Whitworth. There is nothing more exciting than having a passion for a sport, like I do for swimming and finding out that there is a whole new dimension to it that I somehow missed before.

Over the last month, as a small token of my appreciation to the program that has offered me so much and helped me grow in so many ways, I have undertaken to sprucing up our pool lobby area a little bit. With the help of our soon to be inducted hall of famer, Kevin Wang we have begun placing pieces of our history up on the wall of our lobby. While there is still so much more that we can add I am very happy with how it is looking today in comparison with what it has looked like in the past.

Honoring Those That Came Before Us

The Whitworth Swim team will open up the 2010-2011 swim season this weekend with our annual Alumni Meet, and I for one cannot think of a better way to begin our season than to swim with, chat to and honor all of those that came before us.