The Magic of Heart

Hi there, it’s Clare Foster, senior breaststroker and tri-captain on HWSD.  Back on campus after a whirlwind weekend at Princeton, it’s hard to settle in after so much emotion.  How can I possibly read about theories of the justice of healthcare when all my brain is doing is replaying the events of the past two days over and over again?  These are the moments you want to cherish forever- these feelings of complete and utter elation are few and far between in life (yes, I realize I sound a little silly, corny and philosophical- I attribute that to my old age and alleged ”wisdom”).

Coming into HYP weekend, we knew we were ready.  To call us cocky would be wrong, but we were confident.  We had hours of hard training behind us, we had our flawless dual meet record to show us that we were great, but most importantly, we had that little something else special: heart.  The “fire in our bellies” to race, fight even claw our way to the finish for one another is what makes HWSD a truly unique team and has been fundamental in our success this year, especially at HYP.

Cosmo, for those of you who don’t know, is the name HWSD give two girls every year who are in charge of providing the team with inspiration, spirit and enthusiasm through arts and crafts.  I like to think of Cosmo as HWSD’s own fairy godmothers. Each meet Cosmo provides inspiration through a quote or poem (with a piece of candy to match). This weekend Cosmo’s quote was “Never underestimate the heart of a champion”. Looking back on this saying now I realize how much I had taken for granted the weight, power and strength heart can have.

In a team meeting Friday afternoon before the first session of HYP, Kyle Cutter, HWSD alumna and current volunteer assistant coach, stood up holding a Snapple bottle full of water in her hands.  The water in the bottle wasn’t just any old water – it was water she had taken from our very own Blodgett pool.  In it, she explained, was all our hard work from the season-all our VO2 max practices, our killer threshold sets we thought would never end, our blood, our sweat, our tears, but most importantly it contained our confidence, our faith and trust in one another, our commitment to HWSD; it contained our heart.  And in that meeting, we decided we were going to make a vow both literally-by pouring the Blodgett water in our lanes at DeNunzio- and figuratively to bring all those moments, all those experiences, to Princeton that weekend. That is exactly what we did, and boy it was pure magic.  Let me repeat, never underestimate the heart of a champion.

"Harvard on the Warpath" team cheer

Class of 2013 post-HYP victory