Tonight’s guest post comes from Jess over at A Taste of Confidence. I’m off enjoying a rare date night with the Husband tonight — enjoy!
Hi, my name is Jess and I blog over at A Taste of Confidence, where I write about body image, fitness, and college life. I love Chelsey’s blog, and I’m honored to be able to guest post!
Today, I thought I would share a little about a sport, which is near, and dear to my heart, and which many of you may not know much about- synchronized swimming.
When competing in synchro, you perform routines (solo, duet, trio, team) and also compete in figures (an individual skill competition, similar to figure skating).
And of all of these events are no joke.
Synchro is often made fun of and looks “easy.” But, the sport requires high levels of endurance, strength, flexibility, and perfect timing. Synchronized swimmers are just like ducks, in a way, they look peaceful above water, but below, they are paddling like crazy.
I was on a competitive team, The Tonawanda Aquettes, for nine years, and the sport shaped me in lots of good and bad ways:
1) It made me a hard worker: I swam 5 or 6 days a week for at least 3 hours, often adding double practices (from 4-9). We even had a practice from 4-11 once a year! But during this time, my coaches instilled values of hard work. As my coach, Jo, said when we complained, “Everything good is hard.” These long hours turned into great rewards, like winning 3rd at Nationals.
2) It gave me life-long friends: those long hours turned into teamwork, laughter, and a bond I haven’t found anywhere else.
at the beginning
at the end
3) It made me let go of things outside of my control. Judges are going to screw you over sometimes. It will happen, but you have to go out there and do your best regardless of the politics surrounding the whole thing.
4) It allowed me to travel all over the country.
at a Luau in Hawaii for U.S. Opens
5) But, it also greatly contributed to my body image issues. In synchro, the skinnier= the better, or at least it did in my mind. This isn’t necessarily what caused my problems, but I don’t think it really helped, either. Luckily, I have been able to move past these issues for the most part, and look back on swimming as a positive and amazing experience in my life.
What sports did you do growing up?
What has made you “you?”