Perhaps I was a fish in my previous life. That would be the sole reason for my endless love for water and swimming. Whenever I get close to any body of water, be it the sea, river, or even the swimming pool, I find it extremely hard to resist its allure.
First, I would dip my hand into the water, trying to feign my brain that I was just checking the water temperature.
Then, I would coolly remove my slippers, dip my foot into the water, and pretend to check the water current.
Small cold waves would touch my foot gently inviting me to join them in their flow.
Finally, I could not resist the water anymore. Excitedly, I would remove my outer garments, exposing my swimsuit and let my entire body delight in the water.
I just can’t help it. I feel at home in the water. I could barely remember when I first learned to float all by myself. It was as if my limbs knew what they had to do as soon as I am in the water. Whenever I am in the pool, I would immediately do some breathing exercises. After that, I would swim numerous laps, challenging myself to reach the wall faster than my previous record.
Swimming competitively gives me thrill and satisfaction. Particularly, that certain feeling that most athletes feel when they achieve what they have been practicing for – the thrill of trying to complete a lap without breathing to increase my speed and of finally reaching the wall and finishing the race.
I feel alive in the water. It is in the water, through swimming, that I get to enjoy life at its best. Swimming is life and life, for me, is swimming.
Literally everyone in the family knows how to swim. We would go to the beach on Sundays and swim till sunset. That explains my dark complexion and my swimming skills. I thank my family for doing those Sunday swims. It made me realize that swimming is the only sport that I know and belong to. I tried engaging into other sports such as volleyball and even football, but I always ended up as one of the bench warmers.
My first attempt to swim competitively in college was in August 2013 during the USC Days and Intramurals Week. I decided to spice up my college life by joining the CAS Swimming Team.
Our team would have swimming drills on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Cebu City Sports Complex swimming pool despite our busy schedules. During practices, my coach, swim mates, and I would swim numerous laps and correct each others’ strokes. Afterwards, we would hang out at Jollibee and talk about anything under the sun. Er, the moon, I mean.
For the first time, I felt that I was part of a team. For the first time, I could actually say that I am an athlete.
Perhaps this explains why I consider the water as my safety net. Whenever I feel extremely happy or exhausted or down, I would visit the swimming pool.
The mere sight of water waves offers me a sense of tranquillity. The sound of the waves crashing against the walls of the pool also calms me down.
Swimming laps, on the other hand, gives me an unrivalled satisfaction. Not only does swimming tone my muscles, it also offers me relaxation. Particularly, an opportunity to stop thinking about my problems for a while and focus on reaching the wall as fast as I can.
Perhaps I really was a fish in my previous life. That could only explain why I take delight to float weightlessly on water for hours. Also, it supports my choice – to make swimming not only as my sport but also as my primary means to exercise and at the same to socialize with people.
By swimming competitively, I became acquainted with people who share the same passion with me. Also, I met athletes who excel in my sport. Talking to them and knowing their goals inspired me to keep practicing and to always aim high.
Finally, I find swimming as the best activity of being close to nature. Being underwater keeps me away from the noise of the city and the distractions of technology. Indeed, swimming gives me a peaceful mind.
I was and still am a fish in spirit because my weapon is my body, my element is water, and swimming is my world.