Growing up was a challenging experience
Many children have a childhood that sounds like a wonderful and even a magical period where they played and had fun. For me, the first memory I have was the moment when my father left our family. He was a trucker who constantly fought with my mom and then one day, just took off and never came back. I can still remember the day Susan, my mom, realized that he is not coming back and that we could not afford our apartment. With my older brother Tom, we had to drive more than 300 miles to reach our grandparents and stay there.
In a rural town, my mom was warmly received by our grandparents, but the community saw the separation that occurred as something that was our fault like we chased our father away. Naturally, this pressure spilled over into our lives as well, which showed when we started school. Immediately, Tom and I were picked out as children who are different and even unsuitable. Many tried to hide that they felt this way, but the atmosphere showed it plenty: we simply were not a part of the community.
Years went by and the same feeling continued to linger on
Tom became somewhat of a bad boy and a rebel. He started smoking in junior high and his grades deteriorated. I, on the other hand, tried to find solace in food and eating, which is why my weight slowly but surely began to rise. My mom was continuously overwhelmed by our family life, mainly because grandma and grandpa worked as farmers who did not make much money. That is why my mom found a job in the local diner as a waitress and worked two shifts for years on end. Overall, it was not a nice life, but it was something and our mom’s love was the most important thing for me.
However, this all changed when I was 16 years old and I learned that Susan had breast cancer. She did not tell us immediately, but she started to get worse so she plainly told us this one day. I started to cry as mom explained that her chances of survival were exceedingly low. The subsequent nights I cried my eyes out as mom spent days in the hospital. The last time we took her there, she was told by the doctors that she had to stay because of her condition. The next morning we got the phone call from the hospital, saying she passed away. This hit me like a ton of bricks.
My grandparents were completely distraught and did not know what to do, except to continue working on the farm and try desperately to earn enough money for the two of us. Tom, then a legal adult, decided to buy a motorcycle and take off traveling across the country, doing odd jobs. I was left all alone, with only food as something that could drown my sorrow. I thought that my life was truly over.
I wasn’t the only one after all…
When the swimming coach took me to her office, and she told me that she went through the same situation with her mom and that she has a way for me to stop the pain – swimming. The next day, I took my bathing suit and came to the school pool. The coach told me that in that water, I will find a sense of peace and tranquility that could be attained nowhere else. I listened to her and started swimming.
The first few weeks it was not easy because I definitely needed a healthy diet plan, which my coach supplied to me. Thanks to it and the swimming exercises, I started to lose weight. Now, I realize that this was a way how to lose weight fast, but then I just listened to my coach. But more importantly, as I swam and became better and better, I found a stress reliever like nothing I felt before.
Slowly but surely, I was able to focus on the fact that my mom loved me and all the good times we had, not just her death. This allowed my soul to heal and my body to become healthy. In the water, I could clear my mind and focus on my goals, which proved an invaluable skill in my life.
Ten years later, my coach was by my side when I won my Olympic bronze medal as a swimmer. She hugged me and was proud like never before, while I told her that she truly saved my life. Now, I am a happily married woman with two daughters and I go swimming every day, still finding that important comfort and tranquility in the water, is what the stories posted below is pretty much about.. It tells you a bunch of helpful information, check them out.