An Open Letter to Summer League Swimming

    By Molly Griswold, Swimming World College Intern.

    The palms of your hands grip your elbows, eyes wandering up and down the length of the pool. You triple-check the event, heat, lane and stroke grid etched in Sharpie on your arm to ensure you’re in the right place. Your head frantically moves back and forth trying to find your coach. Tears stream down your face as the coach kneels at your side asking, “What’s wrong?”

    The coach agrees to swim that seemingly mile-long trek with you down the pool, but your tiny body is still trembling. You make eye contact with George Washington on the one dollar bill waving in front of your lane as your incentive to hop in. Sunburned skin touches the cold water; you hear a soft hush and an air horn; you spin your arms like little windmills; then you touch the wall with your coach at your side.

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