How I Became a Swimmer

25 May


– the common Achilles heel for triathletes…

Not for me. I was swimming before I was walking. Honestly.

Learning to swim with my Mommy

I was a little fish. I always wanted to be in the water. My mom told me that I would just jump straight into the deep end of public pools, terrifying the life-guards, but keeping myself afloat without any help at all 🙂

So you would assume that I would have joined a swim team as soon as I was old enough… Well, like most 6-year olds, I was busy trying all sorts of new things – including gymnastics, soccer, and dance lessons. I remember asking my mom about the swim team – and we found out that swimmers had practice 5 days/week. No thank you. And so I continued to enjoy swimming as a purely recreational event for the next 10 years.

Not my most flattering look

Flash Forward to High School:  Well let’s say it was at age 16 that I went through that horribly awkward phase where I got braces, gained weight, and just looked like a disaster… that was the same age that I gave up soccer. I was ready for something new (a new look, a new me, just new). I decided to try-out for my school’s swim team. I participated in a month of pre-season work-outs and two weeks of intense try-outs. (I’m talking like 2-2.5 hours/day) I dreaded these workouts because they were SO HARD. Most of these kids had been swimming competitively since they were 6! Ugh. Despite my best efforts, I was cut from the team. Devastation.

Scratch that. This was just motivation to train and make the team next year. Success. With the help of coaches and my friend, Amanda, I learned how to do those elusive flip-turns and become even faster in the water. I made the team next year with ease.

Swim Senior Night

Actually, I didn’t just make the team the next year – I was awarded the honor of ‘Most Improved Swimmer‘ on the whole team at the end-of-the-year banquet. 🙂 Moreover, I got the braces off, lost a ton of weight from endless hours of practice, and was finally a happier person. ❤ Swimming.


Flash Forward to College: I continued to swim at Penn State on the Club team and it was the best decision I made in college. It really helped me stay in shape (take THAT Freshman 15), meet tons of new people, and most importantly – it was how I met my now-husband! 🙂

Some of my fastest times to date:

Steve & I at a swim meet as juniors at Penn State

  • 100 Free – 1:00.50
  • 100 Fly – 1:06.10

4 Responses to “How I Became a Swimmer”

  1. Amanda May 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Oh my gosh jess…I cannot wait until I get to read more and more. God I miss that team so much. I love you and I look forward to hearing more about your brand new life away from our time on that team. 🙂

  2. Jess (In My Healthy Opinion) May 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Love your blog, Jess! It’s really interesting to read about your sports life and swimming specifically. I swam competitively for years! I miss it sometimes, but it was definitely lots and lots of hard work and endless HOURS of practice. 🙂

    Can’t wait to keep reading!

  3. April June 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

    It was cool reading how you vastly improved in swim, and even just how hard you worked overall. Looking forward to more of your posts. 🙂


    • Jessica Rose June 2, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

      Thank you! It’s always amazing to have hard work actually pay off –

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