This is a big weekend for my school’s swim team. It’s conferences. They train from September 26th-Febuary 6(ish) and they train hard. They don’t taper until the last two weeks. Every single workout is a hard one, even the day before meets. The girls aren’t allowed to shave for five months. At times it’s a living hell. But it’s worth it when you see those times drop to levels you never dreamed of reaching.
This was my favorite weekend of the entire school year. It makes everything worth it. I used to be part of that team and that training. I’m not anymore. That’s weird.
It’s weird not being part of the hype. Not getting overexcited about taper starting, dance parties behind the blocks, squeezing into my kneeskin.
It’s weird not setting some crazy goals that I never thought I could accomplish, but did anyways.
It’s weird not being part of the new team dynamic, not participating in secret psycher, not getting myself so worked up before my events that I’m in tears.
It’s weird not seeing my parents this weekend for the first time in a few years.
It’s weird realizing that I’ll never have another PR in my pride and joy, the 50 free, or the 100 breast, my second love and hearing that my brother finally beat my time that I’ve been holding onto.
It’s weird not being part of the relays, not chowing down at breakfast and having shaving parties in the tub.
It’s weird not feeling that high after an amazing swim, and the anxiety waiting to find out if you made finals that night.
It’s weird not seeing my best friend that I grew up with swimming against me for her team.
It’s weird not getting to experience walking up to the blocks with the “big guys,” during night swims and hearing your name announced and your friends screaming your name.
It’s weird not hearing the pep talks from your friends to get out of your own head.
It’s weird not having your old captain surprise you at the meet and make everything okay again.
It’s weird not spending the weekend with your best friends.
It’s weird. Plain and simple.
As much as I miss racing and being there this weekend, I know it was the right decision for me. A tough one, but a smart one.