Swimming has been my silent teacher through each stage of my life. Since I was 4 years old this sport has slapped me in the face with every wrong decision I’ve made and granted me medals of honor for every good one. It has been there for me through every death, every accomplishment, every breakup and every change in my life.

Though I never turn down an opportunity to complain about the early mornings and the painful aches after weeks of regular training, it has always been here for me. My best friend. The white walls of the pool deck can be a prison or a sanctuary depending on what the world looks like outside today. I’ve avoided the water for weeks at a time and I have glued myself to it when needed.

JESSI NICHOLS  is a member of the Illinois State swim team and is a blogger fot The Vidette. She can be contacted at jmnich1@ilstu.edu

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