That was the message in the subject line of an email we got yesterday from one of our swimmers who is training at an East Coast school, preparing himself for college next year. We find often that words from actual swimmers make a bigger impact than words from coaches. What follows below is a perfect example of this. Thank you Bradley for sharing and giving us all a glimpse into your world.
Today was the final dual meet at home. We have been resting for a little bit now so everyone saw this as the last chance to get a few pool records, putting our name on that record board. I was entered in the 200 Medley relay (B relay) 200 IM 100 back and 400 free relay (A). I swam the in B medley because Greg wanted to see who could go faster, and earn the spot at Easterns, leading off that relay. The other guy is named Joe; we have been neck and neck all year long. We are all wearing regular speedos. He beats me by .15 leading off the relay, he goes 23.9 I go 24.09. He earns the spot. His relay also got the pool record by 2 tenths meaning his name is now on the board. I am so pissed off. Next is the 200 IM. The pool record is 1:52.1. I go 1:52.5. Again, angrier. We now move into the 100 backstroke. Joe is extremely confident that he can beat me and get the record, 51.5. It was such an epic race, we were neck and neck for the first three laps, and I ripped 6 underwater kicks on the last lap, and he only did 3. We both died into the wall. I looked up, his time was 51.32, a new pool record, and my time was a 51.22, the new (official) pool record. We both got the time we needed, but I got my hand on that wall a tenth faster, and now my name is on that record board, not his. I can't explain how much it made me realize how important every tenth is. If Joe had not been there, and I went 51.3, I would have been just as happy. But that adrenaline, and that extra tenth, it made me feel a way I haven't in a long time. I am so ready to race again during my big meet.