I have few words to truly capture how grateful I am to you, the students I am lucky enough to work with, and for all you bring to my life.
But you know me by now. Even when I say there are few words, I always manage to find a whole heck of a lot of them.
Swimcrest is a great adventure for me.
From the day I decided to offer instruction here, I’ve been fortunate enough to be entrusted with your physical and emotional safety, an honor I do not take lightly.
My clients are adults facing fears and who have decided that NOW it was time to learn to swim, whether in their 20s, 30s, or 70s.
My clients are children venturing into the water for the first time, some fearful and some exuberant.
My clients are competitive athletes who inspire me with their commitment, self-discipline and drive.
And my clients are families, parents and children who swim together for the joy of that time in the water.
In the hundreds of lessons at Swimcrest this year, I have witnessed some amazing things. I am consistently in awe of all you do and are.
You have done a little bit of everything this year, from the seemingly simple act of putting on a swimsuit for the first time in years and revealing your body to a relative stranger, to conquering a pool or open water distance that once seemed impossible, whether 25 yards or 5k.
This year, many of you entered the water for the first time.
You learned to move your bodies in an entirely new element, relaxing in the water, something that seemed impossible when you thought of doing it on your own.
Some of you splashed for fun.
One of you overcame a serious and life-threatening medical challenge, and came back to swim stronger and faster than ever before.
And many of you kicked booty in races of all kinds. Swim races. 5k Runs. Triathlons. Marathons.
Some of you decided to change your relationship to your own body, improving your overall fitness, working hard, and learning that to be fit is really about being strong and confident and enjoying what your body can do, and that it’s not about what size you are.
And some of you feel your new confidence infectious, noting that what you are doing in the pool and the way it makes you feel leads to the desire to do and try things in other parts of your life. The “if I can do this, maybe I can do that too” feeling is very real here, and I relish hearing your stories of successes in other parts of your lives.
Some of you learned to exhale. And glide. And dive for silly toys.
And some of you tackled debilitating mobility issues, learning to move in the water and freed from limitations by the buoyancy of a new environment when moving on land has become challenging.
All of you, no matter your age, learned just how very strong you are. And MAN–you are STRONG!
Yes, I accomplished some personal goals too and I am grateful for those as well.
736.87 miles of swimming.
Swimming in Switzerland, and Florida, and St. John, and in ponds and lakes and oceans whenever I could find them.
Finishing my 13th year with my own swim team and preparing for my 14th.
I am happy about those things, of course.
But for me, because of Swimcrest, swimming is so much more than that.
It’s You. And You and Me together. And You swimming elsewhere, taking your new and improved skills to whatever water you choose to tackle.
Every day I get to learn from you, and that fills me with gratitude.
I look to this next year with anticipation, curiosity, and excitement about the surprises to come. Because if there’s one thing you all do, it’s surprise me. And yourselves.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
And Happy New Year to us all.