I was the first student to ever go through my district with a physical disability, so, it was a huge learning curve for everyone, including myself. But I did sports, I did basketball and volleyball, and it was a huge learning lesson of just sportsmanship in itself because I was benched through the whole season. But I would come home and my parents would explain, you know, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Because that’s when I just started getting into swimming, and my parents would never let me quit those sports, no matter how hard it was, so, that built a lot of mental toughness and integrity in that.
When I was in middle school, I joined my first team, and it was five girls, so, we would go into swim meets knowing we were going to lose, but it was just so fun and it’s probably still, to this day, my favorite team just because the camaraderie, the sportsmanship. I mean, when one of us racing, the other four were at the other side of the lane screaming each other on. And just that feeling of getting on the blocks knowing you had those four girls behind you was something indescribable.