It’s been years since any of us at SwimSpray competed for a club team. Still, something about the end of August still makes us nostalgic. You’re coming off of a few weeks of break and heading back to see all of those familiar faces. For many of us, more than starting back at school, the end of August meant starting back with our club teams—heading back indoors to start training short course. And then, later in life, getting back to our college teams.
And I think it’s just that – those teams that we had the privilege of going back to – which makes us so nostalgic this time of year. Most of us at SwimSpray swim on a regular basis. And we sometimes plop in for an open water event or masters meet. But these days there’s no coach, no team dinners (aside from work team dinners!), no must-attend practices. Oh, and the workouts aren’t as hard.
To me – and probably to a great deal of swimmers – the swim team is what is so special about the sport. It’s an incredibly individual-driven sport – you can’t blame your teammates when you don’t swim your best – and yet, you need your team in so many ways. They are more than your friends, they’re your support, your competition, your best cheerleaders. They make you a better athlete, and, a lot of the time, a better person.
Many of you out there know that SwimSpray is led by a team of former Princeton University swimmers. Some of us here graduated 10+ years ago. Some of us weren’t even in school or on the team at the same time. But we all had the PUCSDT experience, and that links us in a way that only swimmers really understand.
Ever meet someone who was on your club team or your college team who you didn’t even know, but you feel that immediate connection? Then I think you get it.
So if you’re lucky enough to still have the pleasure of heading back to a team this fall, take a second to appreciate it. (And hey, while you’re at it, remember to put some SwimSpray in your locker too because, after all, this time of year also means heading indoors to more heavily-chlorinated pools.)
We know it’s sad to see the summer end and the outdoor pools close, but there’s something about going back that still gets us excited.