By: John Womack ’17
This weekend our men’s team competed against Hampden-Sydney and our women’s team against Sweet Briar. While both teams won their meets, for me this weekend was less about our swimming and more about our team.
I came into the weekend a little under the weather and tired. I was in the same boat with the rest of the team, as we had had a challenging week of swimming. I also had an illness to contend with, which is not the best situation to be dealing with going into a meet. While one could understand if I had decided not to go, I decided to try and deal with it and jumped on the bus to the meet.
Bus rides, whether with an athletic team or not, are not something that one looks forward to or thinks fondly upon after their completion. This one, however, was something against the trend for myself. As soon as I stepped through the doors of the bus, I had forgotten all of the aches and pains and the weakness from my sickness. Why you may ask? The atmosphere of the team; so comforting and inclusive. Even though the team did not even really know I was sick, the environment was such that everyone was being so encouraging and upbeat that it was hard not to be encouraged and upbeat myself. Everyone simply by being themselves woke me up and made me healthy for at least a few hours during the meet more than any medication could. As I said before, both the Men’s and Women’s team won our meets but what I will remember about this meet is my team, that I am so privileged to be a part of, unknowingly helping me in my time of need.
Of course, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. We are a family and no matter how exciting or mellow the actual swim meet is, the team is there for each other and to motivate each other. We are a team in and out of the pool. Team, for me, has grown to just be another synonym for family. We can’t do what we do week in and week out without the support we gain from each other. This W&L team is my team. It is my family.
Next week we’ll feature a written piece focusing on the dog days of November and Thanksgiving.