Every year, I’ve basically had the same summer schedule. Participating in a competitive summer swim team had me up at 7:30 every morning for practice, with Wednesday night and Saturday morning swim meets. When I was in high school, I added more onto my schedule by coaching and giving lessons. Although the early wakeup every morning was not ideal, I loved being a part of the team. Even though I graduated from the team in 2015, last summer I was still in town and nannying a boy who was on the team, so I still tried to make it to every meet. Today marks the first time in 13 years that I am not at the first Saturday meet of the summer, which is something I’m having a little trouble dealing with.
You see, this pool/swim team is like a second home to me. Cedarbrook Pool is where I had my first jobs and made my first friends. This place has the people that were at my house the day that I came home from the hospital, the people that have seen me at my highest highs and lowest lows, the people that have seen me through the darkest parts of my awkward stage, and the people that have become some the friends that I hold closest to my heart.
It’s similar to a summer camp. You wake up and have a the same schedule everyday. After the not-so-fun part is done (practice and sometimes working), you most likely spend most of your day at the pool. Growing up, my summers were filled with pretending that I was a mermaid in the pool, utterly failing to try flips off of the diving board, begging my mom for $1 to purchase candy from the vending machine, reenacting The Lizzie McGuire Movie (my friend and I are still, to this day, huge Hilary Duff fans), tanning and talking about boys, and playing Jailbreak on the volleyball court (I don’t know if anyone else knows this game…I haven’t heard of it other than when I was at Cedarbrook).
On the swim team, my days were filled with complaining about practice with my friends, getting way too excited for Fun Fridays, cheering the team on to victory, and getting everyone excited for their races. It was a great way to get people from all of the different age groups to interact with each other. The teams in the swim league range from 18 to 8 & Unders, so we have many people in different stages of life. I got to be on the team with my brothers and I loved being able to see them succeed. I always stood behind their lanes and cheered for them as loud as I could. I definitely cried when they swam their last races wearing the Cedarbrook Seahawks cap.
When it was my last year on the team, I tried to cherish every moment as much as I could. I was a graduating senior and an Assistant Head Coach. There were a lot of fast girls in my age group, so I was not super vital to the team in terms of my swimming talent, but I took the coaching job super seriously, pumping everyone up for their races and trying to fix the younger swimmers’ techniques as much as possible. I definitely cried at my last meet and I sobbed at my last swim team banquet.
Cedarbrook has been like a family to me, even when I’m in Boston this summer. My brothers’ friends, who are like older siblings to me, have mostly been living their lives separated from the pool for a while now, and are real people. A lot of people who are like younger siblings to me are still on the team, some of them graduating this year. Even though a lot of our lives are heading in different directions, I still consider these people family and will see them at various holiday and graduation parties and we all catch up. I guess this is what growing up feels like?
Overall, I have some of my fondest memories and greatest friends from growing up in this environment. I have a group chat with three other girls whom I consider three of my closest friends and I can’t wait to see what our friendship is like the more we enter adulthood. I frequently FaceTime one of my other best friends from growing up. Whenever I’m home, I like to see as many of my Cedarbrook friends as possible. Although we are all on separate paths in life now, I will always remember the bonds that I have made with my unforgettable childhood friends. Thank you to everyone who made some amazing memories with me.
Long live the circle-back tan line and thanks for Livin’ Life with Annie!