Thanks to Ethan Weiland for contributing this peice.
From the moment
I started peeling off the new goggle stickers
And diving off blocks, racing 25s
Imagining touching out for the gold
In the Great Forum which is NJ swimming
I knew one thing was real:
I fell in love with you.
A love so deep I gave you my all —
From my mind & body
To my spirit & time
As a nine-year-old boy
Deeply in love with you
I never saw the end of the tunnel.
I only saw myself
Swimming out of one.
And so I swam.
I swam up and down every pool
Racing every lap for you.
You asked for my effort
I gave you my being
Because it came with so much more.
I played through the sweat and hurt
Not because challenge called me
But because YOU called me.
I did everything for YOU
Because that’s what you do
When someone makes you feel as
Alive as you’ve made me feel.
You gave a nine-year-old boy his dream
A sense of purpose And I’ll always love you for it.
But my love for you obsessively has diminished.
This season is all I have left to give.
My heart waivers from the pounding
My mind struggles to handle the grind
And my body knows it’s time to say goodbye.
And that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know now
So we both can savor every moment we have left together.
The good and the bad.
We have given each other
All that we have.
And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that kid
With the new goggles
Up on a block
Crouching on the block
Take your mark…
Love you always,