Lessons of 2013


2013 was a year of change and lessons. It is hard to believe that only a year ago (actually, less than a year) that I was counting down the days to the end of my competitive swimming career and the end of the pursuit of my undergraduate degree. I am amazed to reflect back at how much my life has changed and how much I have changed this year. Logically, the first year after college should be one of adjustment and learning. In honor of this, I have compiled a list of ten of the most important things I learned in 2013.

10) Just because you are initially really bad at something doesn’t mean you always will be. How something begins isn’t always an accurate sign of its potential.

9) No matter how loving and strong your relationship with food is, it is possible to struggle to take in enough calories while training for triathlon. There have been a few days I’ve had to eat past the point of pleasure to maintain function.

8) The harder the decision the better the potential outcomes.

7) Life is sweeter when you make time for yourself.

6) Mental skills are really important and they make a huge difference.

5) Swim coaches: looking for a way to eliminate the “inevitable” 1×15 minute pool stare from the start of your team’s workout? I found a solution for you! Hold swim practice outdoors while the air temperature is in the low 30s… your swimmers will be running and jumping in the pool as quickly as they possibly can once their clothes are off! Problem solved.

4)  Recovery matters. The little things you do and don’t do have a huge effect and add up to take a substantial toll on your body.

3) You are only sacrificing something if you believe you are sacrificing something.

2) Trying new things can be really fun. Even if the new activity doesn’t seem fun, it is important to leave your comfort zone often and give things an honest chance. How else are you supposed to figure out what you really enjoy AND develop the resourcefulness to handle the unexpected?

1) You can learn to love (swimming) again. That love may not always be present at the surface, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Sometimes, it is just masked by other things.

Here’s to a 2014 that will hopefully be filled with further growth and opportunity! Happy holidays!