Just Keep Swimming

Hi everyone, it’s freshman swimmer Shori Hijikata here, writing this week’s post having survived the action of this week’s historic Hurricane Sandy. (Or as we fondly called it, “Frankenstorm”.) Firstly, a shout-out to those reading this post who have family and friends in the regions affected by the hurricane – our thoughts are with you and we hope that you are all doing okay!

This past Monday was ‘historic’ for Harvard as it was only the third time in the school’s 376-year history that classes were cancelled. So not only was the day a freshmen first, it was an entire team first. For the students, it meant a rare opportunity to catch up on schoolwork, appreciate the convenience of microwavable meals and enjoy movie marathons with friends as the rain pounded the grass outside. For us swimmers, is also meant a few extra hours of sleep, as morning practice was pushed back to midday. Laughing about the oddity of walking to practice with actual light in the sky, we made it to practice in one piece and were ready to hit the water to do what we do best.

But walking back outside after completing yet another challenging practice, the sky had morphed into an ominous and angry grey. Though the winds were deceptively strong, between our car pools and linked arm huddles, we were safely able to reach the swimmer’s ultimate post-workout location: the dining hall. And another team lunch meant another opportunity for bonding. I love how much time our team spends together and how quickly us freshmen were made to feel a part of the team, even before we arrived on campus just over two months ago.

This week also marked the transition into Phase 3 of our dryland program. With our unbeatable combination of lifts, jumps, slams, throws and presses, we can feel ourselves getting stronger and it’s exciting to see it translating into fast times in the water. With our first official swim meet of this season less than a week away, we’re practicing harder, swimming faster and bonding more as a team each day. Training with these girls is an absolute inspiration and I can’t wait to join this unstoppable force of black and crimson next weekend.

After all, if Sandy couldn’t stop us, I don’t know what can. :)

”We survived Frankenstorm!” The team cheering at the end of practice

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