This is probably not going to make much sense because writing this is more cathartic than anything else. It doesn’t have any plan, or any direction, I just feel like I need to write it down.
In June of this year, I became a swammer, an ex-swimmer, or whatever you want to call it. Essentially, I gave up swimming. This sounds like nothing to most people, and I completely understand that it’s not the worst problem in the world to have and it feels riddled with privilege to even be able to complain about this. Since giving up I’ve felt completely and utterly lost.
For 12 years, swimming was everything I had. It took up every spare inch of space in my brain. I spent every minute I wasn’t at school either swimming or sleeping, and then all of a sudden it was gone. I feel like I’ve lost my identity, and I don’t know who to be anymore. I was always known as Calypso the swimmer, but now who am I? How will people describe me? It feels like my sport was the most interesting thing about me.
I feel like in my love and dedication to the sport I became it, I wasn’t anything else, and I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t feel like myself now I am not spending 20+ hours in a pool. Everything I do feels like it’s not good enough and I know I don’t need to criticise myself like that but somehow, I can’t help it.
I’m so unbelievably proud of what I achieved whilst I was swimming and I’m massively grateful to everyone that supported me. My mum, who woke up at 4:30 every morning to drive me to the pool, my coaches for supporting and pushing me daily beyond what I thought I could do, my teammates for just being there for the ride and making it the most fun experience I could have asked for, and my friends for not giving up on me when I bailed on plans every Friday night to train.
By the time I gave up (or hung up my goggles, as is the commonly used phrase), I didn’t love it anymore. It breaks my heat to say it, but the situation I was in and the way I felt was making me so miserable that I can’t understand why I’m looking back on it so wistfully. I always had this massive support network of a team that I trained with and knew everything about me and we all worked together to build each other up and feeling like I no longer have that really breaks my heart.
I guess I’m just trying to work out who I am now that I’m not just ‘The Swimmer’. I’ll get back to you once I know.