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I really can’t believe that it’s already May and Olympic Trials start the end of June. This past year has been a crazy one and has really flown by. I’ve heard before that the Olympic year is crazy but I’ve never experienced it like this before. There has been times this year when I’ve been so down and unconfident in myself, not feeling like myself at all. Then there’s times when I feel on top of the world. It’s already been a roller coaster of emotions without having the meet yet.
I sat down with one of my coaches right before Mesa and he told me “I want you to think you can win at Trials. I want you training with that in mind but hey if you go 2:08 in the 200 IM and you get 5th place, good for the 4 people that beat you.” That talk truly changed my mindset for Trials in the best way possible. I took a step back and realized I can only focus on myself and doing the best I can possibly do. I cannot worry about other swimmers because I cant control them. In my opinion, I’ve done everything I can to get myself the results I want at Trials (except for when I skipped afternoon practice on my 24th birthday to go to Busch Gardens with my family!! But that was totally worth it!!). From now until Trials the only thing I want to do is have fun with my swimming and keep working as hard as I can.
If I’m being honest, it was never a childhood dream of mine to become an Olympian. Maybe I’ve said it because I think it’s what people want to hear but the Olympics were never something that was on my mind for myself. My swimming dream was to get a scholarship to swim in college. Growing up I was on a club team with my older brother, Robert, and Megan Romano. Both of those people were the topic of everyone’s discussion when it came to people who were Olympic hopefuls. Then fast forward to coming to The University of Georgia where there were even more Olympic hopefuls on everyone’s mind. So it’s truly surreal to me that now people think I have a chance of making the Olympic team. The other day I was checking the USA Swimming website for meet dates and when the front page of the website came up, I saw my picture being used for an article. The article was “Five More to Watch in Omaha”. I feel honored that someone thought of me when writing an article like that. I’ve come a long way from being a swimmer that could only do short course in 2014 and only continued to swim past graduation to avoid getting a job to being a swimmer that has a fighting chance of making the United States Olympic Team. Lately, I’ve been feeling blessed just to have the opportunity to try to get a spot on our Olympic team. I’m just trying to enjoy the rest of this time and I’m very excited for next month.