When I first dipped my toe in the pool, I wasn’t sure where I was headed but something about that uncertainty was thrilling to me. From the time I can remember, swimming always had a definite direction: to get better; however, this time around swimming has had a totally different feel.
What I knew
I didn’t want to look silly out in the Boston Harbor for the 2011 Swim Across America charity swim. When I retired from swimming, I knew I was always going to remain active and healthy. It’s all I’ve ever known. I mean I’ve done a good job in my years of staying in shape – working as a personal trainer and nutrition consultant for years played a huge role – but we all know being in swimming shape is a bit different.
Once a swimmer always a swimmer
The days of training became better and those days turned into weeks. I began to actually f
eel the water more with each stroke. But then the time came to dive back in with the swim team.
I just prayed I wouldn’t hear the laughs amongst the swimmers on how bad I was. I mean really, my fellow lane mates were less than half my age. But it didn’t stop me back then and it wasn’t going to stop me now even though the roles have flipped. I was once the brash and spunky young one training with the old kids. Now I am the “old one” in with the age groupers. Isn’t it funny how things change?
It just keeps getting better
Swimming now comes second in my life. First is my career as a sports reporter with BrightHouse Sports Network followed by the organization my training week. Some weeks are easier than others to get everything in but others are a struggle. I just have to remind myself to stay the course and make sure I find balance in my life.
Doing new things with my swimming
I swim for charity and a cause. After the Boston Swim Across America, it was brought to my attention that Tampa Bay (my home town) would join the team with their own open water swim. I quickly jumped on board to be a part of it. The SAA Tampa Bay Inaugural Swim is being held at Clearwater Beach on May 5th with a ½ mile or mile swim…and I am pumped!
Time to make it official
I did it! On March 1st I submitted my letter to come out of retirement and enter the USADA drug testing pool. After a little more than a year of doing open water swims and masters swimming, I felt the need to decide if that was all I wanted to do or if I wanted more.
So now a new challenge presents itself: to push the level of training up another notch. I will officially be able to compete in a USS sanctioned meet on September 1st, 2012.
I am excited and ready to get things going again. I guess I should have known that I would end up swimming again. After all, once a swimmer, always a swimmer.
Make sure to follow Brooke and her swimming endeavors on the FINIS Blog and watch for short updates on Twitter and Facebook.