Finishing the Race Together

Teammates leave an emotional impact on an athlete

GOING+ALL+THE+WAY+-+FHC+Swimmers+cheer+on+their+fellow+teammate+as+they+swim+their+event.+The+team+all+encourages+each+other+to+swim+their+best%2C+regardless+of+the+outcome+of+the+event.

Faith Carter

GOING ALL THE WAY - FHC Swimmers cheer on their fellow teammate as they swim their event. The team all encourages each other to swim their best, regardless of the outcome of the event.

As I approached the block ready to swim the 100 back, multiple feelings were coursing through my veins. This was the very last race that I would swim, ever, in high school. This was the last GAC’s that I would swim in, and the first time I was seeded 6th place in a race.

There was a lot of pressure to me trying to get a faster time and earning a medal, but I didn’t think I could decrease my time even further and the other swimmers were faster and further from me. As I was in the water and grabbing the bar, I then felt confident, powerful, nervous as the announcer said, “Take your mark.” The sudden rush of adrenaline accelerated in me as I heard that buzzer for the last time. Racing that 100 back was exhilarating, knowing I would finish in the top 8, and trying my hardest to get a faster time.

However, I wasn’t prepared to see that I got disqualified for my event for an “illegal turn.” A rush of emotions filled my body and I became very angry and upset at the results of it. When changing in the locker room, the sudden realization occurred and the rain started to pour down. That was the last race of high school, the first time I actually could earn my team a lot of points, and I threw it in that race. All of that work and leading up just for me to get disqualified. I suddenly changed from being infuriated to sad and I started to tear up.

My teammate, Chase who was beside me changing in the locker room tried to cheer me up, yet I still felt a little upset. Going back to where my team was sitting, I tried to hide my emotions and watched as other swimmers were racing. Then, I felt a hand on my shoulder from my teammate Andrew, and I saw looks around my shoulder. Everyone was praising my swim and were standing by me in that moment. I received pats on the back, people telling me to forget about the race and to have a good time, even jokes and laughter to brighten the mood. In that moment I actually felt happier and cheerful because I saw that my teammates cared for me and were there for support.

There were many times when I felt down and there was always someone to cheer me; however, this moment felt different to me. It felt to me as if everyone around me was helping me feel better. It felt so grateful and touching that my teammates cared more about myself rather than the outcome of the score. I felt as though I let my team down and yet they didn’t care whatsoever that I disqualified. My teammates were able to help me laugh it off now and use it as a joke. I felt so thankful that they wanted to make me feel better the rest of the night, and I’m grateful to have teammates sit alongside me.

The end of the season was a sad moment for me because we were all together and cheering until the end of GAC’s and it was upsetting to know this was the last time I would bond with my teammates at the pool. It feels as if I lost a part of me and I lost close relatives. That moment of support was the last time that I could very appreciative of my teammates and feel lots of love for them.

I realized then just how much my teammates meant to me. They were like family to me and was always someone to talk to. As I reminisced memories of times I was feeling stressed from school or gloomy, I picture my teammates by me. I see how much I relied on them for my decisions and for advice. They replaced the family I couldn’t see in years and I feel closer to my teammates because they were there for me.

Now as I look back to every swim season, my teammates have always been there to support myself and each other whether there was a bad swim, a disqualification, or a personal situation we were going through. The four years that I spent on the swim team showed me how important my teammates are to me and I picture how happier I am as my teammates were by my side.

The sport has played a part in changing me, but my teammates mostly shaped who I am.