Every swimmer seems to dread that 11th birthday. All the cuts get so much tougher, and it’s easy to get discouraged. This is not the case with Dallas Mustangs swimmer Carolina Girard (11). She is a shining example of power through a positive outlook. Her words…
A Pep Talk to My Former Self
by Carolina Girard (age 11)
Swimming-strength, agility, intelligence, memory, persistence, commitment, competition. Swimming requires a lot out of a normal person. Well, guess what…we’re not normal.
When you first join, you might look at your new teammates and think, “I’ll never be able to do that. I’ll never be that strong.” Stop. Think for a second. All these people started out like you. We all get better at swimming at difference paces, and you must accept that.
You’re at your first practice. You get in. The water seems too cold to be possible! You get into the main set. Nooooo, I can NEVER do this, NEVER!, you think. Stop. Think again. You are going to nail this set, no matter the distance, no matter the interval, no matter the confidence.
You feel like you’re going to die. Your hands meet the wall. Some of you might think that this is the right decision. My body needs its rest for it to be able to function, you ponder. This is correct, but not completely. Every stroke you take, you get stronger. Faster. Closer to that place you thought you’d never be. I’ll never be as strong as them, you once imagined. Well, if you finish this set you will. But only if you put your best effort into it.
You’re as fast as your teammates now, but you are still striving for that one time you need to make it to the next level. Maybe this was a bad decision. No! Now is a time to work harder than you ever have and be stronger than you ever have! It is never time to give up. Remember that set when you thought you’d die? Well look at you now, actually giving up. What will people think of you now? He-Who-Gave-Up. She-Who-Gave-Up. You know what people would think? Exactly the same negative thoughts that you have for yourself right now. Not worthy. If only you had stayed on that swim team! Your confidence is everything. Use it.
No matter the team, race, gender, times, or age, you can do it. If you don’t believe in yourself, I do. Your coach does. Your teammates do. You can do it! It doesn’t matter if it’s a set, a race, or a particular time. You can achieve it. And if you don’t believe me, believe in yourself.