This post is in response to the daily prompt Happy Endings – Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?
Giving up anything is tough. Giving up a major part of my life for 10 years was really tough, and although I would say I quit, I never truly have.
Growing up, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with running. I never felt like I got anywhere with the sport and I never understood the point of running in circles. Growing up, my sport was Swimming. It wasn’t just a part of my life, swimming was my life. I started to competitively swim when I was 8, was swimming year-round by 10, and started two-a-day practices by the time I was 12. Every weekend was spent traveling to some meet in a different city. Swimming almost decided what high school I went to. (So glad it didn’t) By the time I found running in high school swimming was taking up so much of my life that the two sport were at odds. It all came to a head during my Junior year of high school. Running won and swimming lost.
I would say I quit swimming twice. Each time was cold turkey, no regrets, have to go run. The first time was right at the end of my Junior year when I learned that if I wanted to swim that summer, it would be inside. The outdoor pool was being demolished and it would be a few years til it was replaced. That was when I quit my club team. This was probably one of the hardest decisions in my life as I basically grew up with the people I shared the pool with. These were my friends, this was my identity, this was my life. The second time I quit was after the High School swim season was over my Senior year. Right after we won the state title. Both times it was hard to turn away from a group of friends with many shared memories and experiences. And so by the time I was 18, swimming was no longer a part of my life.
I learned a lot from my time swimming. Not just a sport that can last a life time, but many life lessons as well. For those I am for ever thankful. I also still have many great friends that I made during those 10 years and many fond memories, but I can’t say I want to jump into the cold, blue rectangle like I used to any more. I still recreationally swim laps from time to time, that’s why I say I never truly quit, but swimming is no longer life.