Time: A Precious Commodity
By Kelly Heyde
A junior team captain on the St. Mary's College of Maryland women's swim team, Kelly Heyde is a three-time NCAA qualifier and the 2010 Capital Athletic Conference Women's Swimming Rookie of the Year.
To some, chlorine is the smell of summers spent by the poolside, but for those of us who live with habitually wrinkled fingers and wet hair, chlorine is the smell we associate with bittersweet disappointment, exertion, triumph and time.
Swimming is a sport based on time. Immediately after completing a race, a swimmer's head will swivel to the clock to analyze their time. Each race can be divided into splits. Practices are almost exclusively based on intervals. I have been watching the clock through fogged goggles for nearly fourteen years. Unquestionably, college swimming has embraced me with open arms. The clock I watch now has a vibrant Seahawk behind it. The time that I do not spend in the pool, I spend amongst professors, students, and other student-athletes who are genuinely interested in my future success both athletically and academically. The St. Mary's swimmers are passionate about our sport and encourage each other daily, whether it is a few words to boost confidence prior to a race, or studying together before the big final. College swimming provides a nurturing environment in which student-athletes are able to thrive both in the classroom and in the pool. Division III athletics has reinvigorated my love of the sport.
I only have one year left to spend swimming; a measly year left to spend doing what I love the most. I cannot imagine my life without swimming. What would a day be without the soft rays of light refracting off the water's surface? What would I do if I were not chasing black tiles on the bottom of the pool? As my life as a swimmer comes to a close, what I am desperate for is more time.