By Daphne Tan (18S06Q), Girls’ Captain, Ng Yu Xin (18S03D), Anthony Wong (18S06O), Boys’ Captain and Adam Tan (18S03E)
Swimming is known for being an individual sport. But it is far from that. Though we plunge into the pool as an individual, ultimately we are racing for our team and it is more than a mere competition; it is a test of our character and resilience. This starts from training.
Pulling yourself out of bed at 4.30am is not an easy feat. You get into the icy cold water at 5.30am while the rest of your peers are still sleeping soundly in the comfort of their homes. At 7.30am, we change out and head to school. But we are not done for the day. After a long, tiring day of school, we head back into the pool for yet another training session before heading home. Upon reaching home, we immerse ourselves in schoolwork, till late into the night. With a mere 6 hours of sleep, the cycle repeats itself. This is the daily routine of a swimmer.
Tough, isn’t it? So why do we still do this?
We do not do this just for ourselves, it is the fiery passion we have, to bring our team to greater heights that drives us. As we stand before the block, heart pumping against our chest, blood coursing through our veins, adrenaline rushing through our entire being, we are comforted by the familiar voices in the crowd. Our focus diverts to the race itself, as we step up onto the blocks, adjusting our cap and goggles. The horn sounds. We charge forward, disrupting the perfect placidity of the pool.
As the cold water hits our face, our limbs begin to propel forward, arms slicing through the water, we know that this is what we’ve trained for. After a few metres, we start to feel the burn. We have thoughts of giving up. But the buildup of lactic acid does not stop us.
We are braver than we believe. Stronger than we seem. Faster than we think.
We take a peek and see the wall getting closer to us. We are almost at the end. Mustering up all the remaining strength we have, we power through the last 10 metres and reach out to smash the wall. Nothing beats the satisfaction of stopping the clock. As we look up at the timing board, we punch our fists in the air and turn to the stands. Seeing the comforting smiles and cheers amongst the crowd, we know that our efforts have paid off.
And indeed, all our hard work has come to fruition with the A Division Girls defending their championship title and A Division Boys clinching the runners up after putting up a tough fight at the National Interschool Swimming Championships 2017.
Even though swimming may seem to be an individual sport and all hard work, we do have fun! We spend time with the team through bonding sessions and even support our teammates in other competitions, like the ASEAN Schools Games held in Singapore this year! The friendships forged stay with us forever and it is something we hold close to our hearts. We are empowered by a common goal and that is to strive for excellence and sportsmanship.
The pride. The glory. The honour. This is what makes everything worthwhile.