Sometimes I dream of swimming or coaching swim team and last night was one of those nights.
In my dreams, I am usually in the water with my swimmers which was typical of me especially when I first started coaching swim team. Most of the time, coaches stay on deck because it is easier to watch swimmers from different angles and less of a hassle. Because let’s face it, we don’t always feel like getting wet.
I believe we are coming up on the 10 year anniversary of when I first started coaching swim team back in 2010…
I had just returned from California and I scored this job on the spot at my interview. I was thrilled because I would be coaching for the Thurston Olympians Swim Club which was the same team that I used to swim for. I started out by coaching the Seaturtles which was the most beginner group and I absolutely loved it. I got in the water with my swimmers and felt blessed to have a job that kept me excited, engaged, and energetic.
Coaching swim team helped me to rebuild my confidence. I was in a leadership role where I could share my knowledge and enthusiasm with others and I loved watching our swimmers learn and grow. I was right there with them learning and growing myself.
I remember waking up early before the sun rose on a Saturday morning to head to the swimming pool for a swim meet that would last all weekend long.
I loved looking at the still water and feeling so thankful. I know that within an hour that still glass would be shattered with swimmers racing to the finish line and I looked forward to it. As the swimmers and families trickled in and the lights turned on their energy gave me more energy too. 2010 was a special time in the aquatics world for me. I remember feeling so thankful to be right there at that time. I was there coaching my team with people I loved. And my sister Aunya was there swimming for Aquatic Academy and my parents were there to watch her. Her coach Bob had tried to get me to swim for Evergreen years before when I was in High school, but I stuck with my team. My favorite coach, mentor, and long time friend, Dave Kienlen was also there coaching his team. And my friend Tara (who used to be my swim coach when I swam for TOSC) was there watching her son Calder swim. I remember feeling overwhelmed and so lucky to be surrounded by all these people that I loved. I knew that it wouldn’t be this way forever, but I felt so thankful to have this snapshot of time at the pool.
I continued to coach swimming for the next 5 years and through those years the people and places that I coached changed, but my love for the sport remained. I loved the sport, but I started feeling burned out because I had spent almost every day at a pool and I wanted to branch out and learn new skills.
When I went back to college to complete my degree I eased myself away from aquatics. In 2016, I took the leap of faith and decided to focus on school full-time. It was a much-needed change of pace.
Dreams like last night make me miss it, but they also remind me of how far I have come since then and for how thankful I am for the lessons I learned as a coach.
I wonder what the aquatic world looks like today with the pandemic? I may have to reach out to my friend Mica who is a coach and find out.
Are you a swimmer? Have you managed to keep swimming through this strange time? Please comment below to share!
I hope you are staying healthy and safe wherever you are.