Looking Back at the Last Three Years

It is extremely hard to believe that in a few months I will be starting my last season with my team. It’s a bittersweet feeling. Bitter because I don’t’ know who I will be without the sport of swimming, and sweet because I will actually get to find that out.

As I look back at it all, I cannot believe that I made it this far. As I came in as a freshman, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I chose a school where I didn’t know a single person. I looked forward to a fresh start and figuring out who I was.

When August rolled around, I was ready to go away to school. I had everything packed since the beginning of summer and I was so excited to see where life was going to take me. The thought of having my own place, new friends, being completely independent made me so excited.

The first week I was so homesick. My parents’ leaving was probably one of the hardest things for me. After a month in, it still hadn’t gotten better for me. I would drive home every chance I got, so I wasn’t really getting to know people or the town. I wasn’t adjusting well to the new training and that also wasn’t helping. Finally Thanksgiving hit and I got to go home. But when I finally got a few days at home, I was already excited to go back to school to be with my friends.   Freshmen year was a learning experience filled with  learning to adjust to being away, a new team, new coaches, and a whole new environment.

It’s hard to believe that just 3 years ago I was ready to quit and move back home, and now I am about to enter my last season. I am still so thankful today for my teammate who told me “everything will be okay”, giving me some sense of relief that eventually it would all be okay.

Since then, I have looked back on my freshman year as a way to see how far I have grown as a person, a swimmer, and a teammate. I have gone from swimming for myself, to swimming for my teammates, coaches and family. I have realized over the last 3 years that it’s not about the wins or losses, it’s about the person that you have become and the people by your side through it all. It’s about swimming for others and celebrating others successes.

Over the last three years I have had some greatest successes and biggest defeats, but I have learned what it feels like to have your whole team behind you.  I have been to the point where I was completely down, but I have always been lucky to have a team that constantly builds you up.  I am very thankful that I made the choice to swim where I did because it allowed me to have all the opportunities that I have had today.

As my last season approaches I say “lets go!”.  It’s time to leave it all in the pool. I know that I have a team that will cheer and support me each and everyday. It’s my last season, and all I want to do is live in the moment.

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About Olivia McLain

Olivia McLain

My name is Olivia McLain and I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri.  I am currently a junior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where I am also on the UNO Women's Swim Team. I specialize in the 100 butterfly, 100 freestyle, and now that its allowed …

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