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“Dear Wilmington Swimming:” A Letter from a Senior


Dear Wilmington Swimming,

It’s not you, it’s me. I think we should start seeing other people.

Our love story started when I was only 14. My older sister introduced us, and I thought you were okay, but not the one for me. From the time I was 14 to 18, I continued to go to every one of your meets, whenever I did not have a meet of my own. Finally, my senior year I gave you a chance and went zip-lining with you. After that I knew I wanted to spend the next four years with you.

(left to right) Samantha Glish, Susan Householder, and Savanna Burcham

Let’s be honest the past four years have been rough. You wouldn’t let me shave my legs for months, just so I could swim a half a second faster; and whenever I would try to explain it to a non-swimmer they wouldn’t understand. You made my skin crack and my hair dry from being in chlorine every day. You’ve made me want to cry every time I had to walk up three flights of stairs to class after being sore from practice. You’ve frustrated me for not getting the times I wanted, or for seeing people get things they didn’t work for. You made me fit into suits that are so small I need two people to help me get it on. You never let me go out for “Wilmy Wednesday’s” because I had to be up before the sun was even up to be in the pool or weight room the next morning. You never let me drink on my birthday, because it was always the week before conference. But I can’t complain too much, because you’ve given me a lot to be thankful for.

(left to right) Savanna Burcham, Coach Trip Breen, Susan Householder

You’ve let me eat as much as I want without gaining weight. You made me learn how to manage my time, with having practice, meets, school, work, other organizations, and eating. You’ve made me hold myself accountable for my actions. You’ve given me dedication and motivation. You gave me an excuse to not shave my legs for months. You’ve made me realize that my body is capable of doing so much more than I thought (like having two a days in Florida and still having enough energy to dance on the broad walk later that night).

You’ve let me eat as much as I want without gaining weight. You made me learn how to manage my time, with having practice, meets, school, work, other organizations, and eating. You’ve made me hold myself accountable for my actions.

You gave me the most amazing coaches, that have guided me more than they could ever know. Trip, thank you for not killing me for always being the last one in the pool, thanks for always putting my cap on before practice and meets, thanks for telling me to go to the library (but not believing me that I went), thanks for the quote of the days, and thanks for being one of my role models. Paula, thanks for playing my effing music, this year during our training trip getting to sit next to you in the van probably made this year ten times better than all the other years. Kenny, thanks for giving me an excuse to flip off the camera. Michael, thanks for being the worst baseball intern.

(left to right) Kadie Grundy, Susan Householder, Savanna Burcham, Laura Swinehart

You gave me unbelievable teammates, that I couldn’t be more grateful for. To everyone that’s swam in my lane, thanks for motivating me to not get out in the middle of practice (except for Karley and Jess when we left in the middle of practice to get breakfast), and thanks for making practice fun. To the seniors, thanks for going the hard route and sticking with it. To Kadie, Chloe, and Sam, thanks for always reminding me that I have one more left in me, whether it’s with swimming or food. To Kadie and Karley, thanks for telling me stories and cuddles before bed at OACs. To Sam 1, Kadie, Chloe, Bellus, Hannah, and even Ben (I probably forgot some people, sorry!), thanks for taking care of me during the times I can’t even take care of myself. Sam 1, thanks for trying to teach me how to take out the trash, and thanks for always reminding me that when we practice it will burn the calories of margaritas to drink later. Big S, thanks for always taking pictures of me when I’m in the library, and thanks for being the other witness when Michael broke the lane line. Karley, thanks for always singing the naked song with me. Ian, thanks for being the peas to my carrots. David, thanks for always telling me what food to order. If I listed out everyone and everything I was thankful for from you I think this would become a book.

I’ve counted down the days until I would be breaking up with you and the time has finally come. Four years of hard work is all over now. I will never regret our relationship and if I were to do it all again I wouldn’t change a thing. Like I said, it’s not you, it’s me, we are going down two different paths. We can still be friends. I think it is for the best, and one day you will make someone else very happy.


Coach Paula Stewart, Coach Trip Breen, and team members

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