I have learned a lot through being an athlete at Wesleyan; I learned how to prioritize my life and budget time, how to plan ahead (like really far ahead), and how to trust people and look for the good within your community because in my case, they will not disappoint. If you’ve been to the pool you know there is that little window up top looking over the pool from the Freeman lobby; during my last practice, I watched as multiple coaches brought their athletes over and broke the news of their seasons ending, I saw hugs and tears, and I knew that it would soon be my turn. Having my season and career be cut short was shocking, it still feels like an open book. Finding out that you’re going to NCAA's is just as exciting every time, especially when you get to share that experience with fellow teammates and having that taken away is devastating. I am still trying to come to terms with it, whenever I have had to clear my head to find some sort of peace with anything, I’ve gone to the pool.
1. Our team cheer is a modified version of DMX’s “X gon’ give it to ya” (created by our beloved ex-diving coach) in which we walk out and form a huddle and start with a low rumble of call and response and get louder until the fourth rendition of “WES gon give it to ya” which is high energy all smiles. As a freshman, the first time being in the huddle and jumping around, screaming with your teammates is unforgettable. As a senior, being able to lead the cheer with your team is a privilege.
2. As a Sophomore, I was on a relay team trying to qualify for NCAA’s. Unfortunately, at NESCAC’s, our team had been (wrongfully) disqualified so we petitioned to time trial. We were approved and drove 7 hours to the men’s NESCAC Championships at Bowdoin to swim the race alone. Nerves were through the roof, but Z Kerrich, Hannah O’Halloran, Grace Middleton, and I got behind the blocks and had a full-blown dance party minutes before our race (Let Me Clear My Throat by DJ Kool = ultimate hype song). With the entirety of our men’s team behind our lane and fellow female time-trailers from other NESCAC teams cheering us on, we did it, while also breaking the school record. By far my most emotional race as a swimmer.
3. Our 2019 women’s NESCAC meet was held at Wesleyan last year, there wasn’t a specific instance during the meet but if you were on that pool deck at any time, you felt the energy. We were a united front and swam our little hearts out, having fun and doing what we loved, singing, dancing, cheering, and just supporting each other. That was the meet of a lifetime.