by Gordon Gan (17S06Q), Vice-Captain
What defines us as swimmers? It is the sheer determination, the strong will power, the spirit of perseverance and the everlasting passion where all our hearts and souls are devoted to one common purpose: Personal Excellence.
Every day starts off with long and tiring mileages in the water, constantly staring down at the black line before the break of dawn at 5.30am. While many are still soundly asleep, we are pushing ourselves to the best that we can. While it is still dark, we cover long distances in the pool, focusing on our technique and clocking fast timings in uncomfortable physical conditions.
At the end of morning practice, we still head to school to learn, and soon after, we are back in the pool to complete an even more challenging training session. Upon reaching home, we still have to complete schoolwork and the day ends late into the night. With a mere 6 hours of sleep, the cycle would repeat itself daily. This is the regular life of a swimmer.
Despite it being so physically and mentally draining, why do we still put ourselves through this hardship?
Swimming is not just a competition; it is a test of our character and resilience. It is not just a sport, but also a lifestyle. We swimmers believe in this: When we are put in tough situations, we don’t say why me? but rather, try me. Nothing is impossible if we believe in ourselves.
Looking back to the past, we achieved a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction by doing what seemed to be impossible, breaking through our personal boundaries. Be believe that in order to succeed, you must first believe that you can. This self-belief allows us to strive towards greater heights, competing against the water, the time and yourself.
Our hard work has paid off with the A-Division boys obtaining overall second place and A-Division girls achieving overall champion at the National Interschool Swimming Competition! We couldn’t have achieved this if not for the great support we have from friends, coaches, teachers and family!
Tough times aside, we do know how to enjoy ourselves too! We do have catch-up sessions to foster better relationship and team spirit within the squad. Furthermore, there are camps that we all look forward to.
We also do have time where we give back to our society through community involvement programmes. Everyone trains separately, but ultimately we are still bonded as one. Close-knitted friendships would definitely make life in school more enjoyable and entertaining.
Most people think swimming is an ‘individual sport’ but we certainly beg to differ. It is your fellow teammates that encourage you to push on during such hard times. It is your fellow teammates that support you through the ups and downs in your swimming journey.
Swimmers identify with each other through the common struggle they face, and rely on each other strongly to walk through this arduous journey together. Along the way, we form unbreakable bonds that we cherish and carry into the future even after we stop swimming competitively. This is no different from any other team sport. Most importantly, this sport has imparted many strong values, making us what we are today.
That’s what truly defines us as swimmers, SWIMMING FOR PRIDE, FOR HONOUR, FOR GLORY, and FOR RAFFLES!