My swim coach makes fun of my small handwriting. At 13 years old, my first year in the “senior” ranks of the Wilton Wahoos, each swimmer filled out a goal sheet, questions about what we hoped to achieve during the season.
“What do you hope to improve and accomplish in practice?” It wasn’t a tough question. I weaved, as I still do now, side to side in backstroke as though an invisible hand pushed me on a swing, rocking back and forth. I needed to bend my elbows more in my freestyle, to dive off the blocks with faster reflexes, and to breathe less (even a millisecond to turn your head wastes time). In the two-inch space below the question, I had to shrink my handwriting. The deviously short questions prompted, at least in my head, heaps of answers — really, a step-by-step plan for an ideal swim.