I spent the formative years of my life staring at a black line on the bottom of a pool. Back and forth. Lap after lap, a constant race against the clock.
It was rewarding, challenging, and fun. It gave me some of the best friendships I could ever ask for. But it was also mentally and physically exhausting. The schedule beats you down into the ground and there’s always something that can be improved.
When I look back on my time as a swimmer, sometimes I wonder why I did it. I wonder why I put up with the stress on my mind and body. I wonder why I spent 15 years of my life, thousands and thousands of hours, dedicated to something that ultimately gave me nothing tangible in return.
But I’ve realized that I shouldn’t question it. It's what made me, me.
I used to be a swimmer. Now I’m a strategist. Contemplating my own identity as a swimmer has fueled my interest in exploring why other people do strange, wonderful, unexplainable things. Uncovering their motivations, struggles, and dreams. Finding what makes someone human. That's pretty cool.