By Jordan Metz
I have just under twenty days left in a sport that has taken up a majority of my life. My hands shake at the thought of being done (even now as I write this, they shake). I’ve already looked at a timeline of the events taking place and had to hold in the tears that threatened to escape. Looking back now, I’ve realized that I’ve had to make so many sacrifices so I could be where I am today.
I remember leaving school early on Friday’s so I could go swim the 1000 or the mile two hours away. I remember missing a spring break trip with my friends so I could stay at home and practice. I remember all the missed opportunities I had in high school (missed time with friends, potential boyfriends). I remember asking my friends to wait to go out to lunch because I had swim practice. But with all my missed opportunities came memories I will never forget.
That lunch with my friends I mentioned, they did wait for me and we had a really great time. All those times leaving school early for swim meets, my teachers were understanding and let me make up the assignments I missed. During the summers when I would swim two times a day, my friends would wait until the end of the week to ask if we could swim at my grandparents’ pool because they knew I wouldn’t want to swim in it any other time. I remember when I signed to swim in college, my friends were there supporting me on a new adventure.
College came with the same missed opportunities but even better memories. All the bus rides (15 hours on a bus to Michigan was probably the worst one), all the Noodles and Panera and Olive Garden (SO. MANY. CARBS!). When there was only five of us that went to lunch with the team after a meet and Coach let us all get smoothies or a cookie (not both, unfortunately). All the team dinners and breakfasts.
My whole family coming to home meets even when they had to drive 9+ hours to get there. My family supporting me when I decided to go nine hours away to go to school and swim. All the facetimes and phone calls to complain about practice or school or purely for the fact that I ate chicken nuggets for lunch. All the missed holidays and missed birthdays make me appreciate my family a whole lot more than if I had only gone two hours away.
I have missed out so many things because of swimming but I have gained even more. My amazing family who understands when I get hangry and just need something to eat. My supportive friends who push back the time for lunch so I can be there too. My teammates who became my family (Thank you, thank you, thank you!!).
My first race in college was the mile. My last is going to be the mile.
I’ll try not to cry, I’ll fail miserably but I know that I won’t be the only one. I guess I’ll just add it to the list of sacrifices that are worth making.
About Jordan Metz
Jordan is a senior distance swimmer at Northern State University, majoring in Sports Marketing with a Coaching minor. She loves swimming and coaching with all her heart and believes that everyone deserves the chance to swim no matter their age. She hopes that young swimmers enjoy the sport for as long as she has.