One day, I will go to the Olympics. I will. No, I am not deliusional, I don't mean as a competitor. Though, I can't say that dream of mine has completely fizzled. Every so often, I think about how much I have learned, how much wiser I have become, how much I now know that eating right and sleeping right makes a huge difference on how your brain and body performs. I think back to high school and college, and how I often got only 4 hours of sleep. Then, I would swim for a couple hours, then go to school, then swim. How did I expect to perform at my peak on that amount of sleep? And sometimes I would eat a whole row of oreos for a snack, or half a bag of Twizzlers. I would bring 5lbs of sour candy to swim meets and eat only that and a few bites of lettuce the whole weekend because the nerves destroyed my appetite. A common theme to my swimming career was "inconsistency". Now, I think I could buckle down for a few years. Quit staying up late, eat right. I could do all the things necessary to perform at my full potential. Now, does that mean I could be or could have been an Olympian? Probably not. But maybe. But seriously, I will attend the games as an excited, nervous, sympathetic spectator.
I did compete in the Olympic trials. I remember it as one of the most exhilarating, exciting events in my life. I felt like the best. At least, I was walking around the deck and sharing a pool with all the best swimmers in the world (as USA dominates the sport.) I remember being told by my coach not to get DFL (dead fucking last, as we would say). I was swimming the 200 butterfly. My best, and probably most inconsistent event at that time. And it was a long course (50 meter) pool, I was more of a short course (25 yards) girl. I liked my turns. I was known for my underwater swimming. Fairly certin, if there was a 50 meter, underwater with fins Olympic event, then I would have been there. Just saying. I ended up getting a best time by almost 3 seconds. I didn't get even close to semi-finals. I didn't care. I was starting my Senior year in high school. I had all the time in the world to improve. How was that 12 years ago? Michael Phelps was a 15 year old baby, shocking the world with his 200 fly. Now, he's the veteran swimmer. Back then, I couldn't imagine my swimming days ever coming to an end. Ever. Inconceivable.