School Stuff
Posted By Parker

Personal Essay

Hi Guys,

I wanted to share with you an essay that I wrote for a school project a couple weeks ago. It is about water and how it is really important to me. There are also some funny stories included that I hope you will enjoy!


By Parker Nolan

Do you know how to swim? Swimming is a very important skill all people should know how to do. There are also a lot of qualities that come with swimming or working out in the water. Exercise and the reassurance that if you fell into the water, you would know how to swim and make it out safely. Actually, that’s the reason I learned to swim, so I would not drown. Then that grew and now water is a part of me.

First, water is a part of me because I am in it almost everyday. But, it was different when I was younger. I would occasionally go to a swimming pool or the beach. But that all changed. One day, I was in Florida on vacation. I was walking on the deck of the pool and tripped. I fell into the pool and almost drowned. My Grandmother ran outside and jumped in after me. She grabbed me and pulled me to the surface. I still remember that day. I felt like I was suffocating and I couldn’t do anything about it. It was one of the scariest days of my life.

After that happened, my parents decided it was time for me to learn how to swim. They took me to a pool and signed me up for swim lessons at Fosco Park once or twice a week. Eventually I joined the swim team there and became the captain. Well, fast forward 5 years and now I have switched teams to CWAC (Chicago Wolfpack Aquatics Club) an accredited USA Swimming team. I practice everyday except Sunday.

My normal swim practice schedule looks like this: before I get in the water, I have a half an hour of drylands. In drylands, we run, do jumping jacks, stretches, and other exercises  to help our muscles warm up for the pool, so we don’t have cramps or pull a muscle while in the water. At my old team, we didn’t do drylands. Even after a few months of this, I saw that my times had improved significantly. In my opinion, I think drylands are a really important part of swimming, because not only does it warm up your muscles, but it also improves their strength!

Once we jump in the pool, we swim a pre-set.  A pre-set is a warm up sequence, which is usually a 300 yard freestyle, to prepare us for the main set. The main set is the set that takes the longest time and the set that is the hardest. Our practice is an hour and a half, and we don’t take any breaks, so you can imagine how difficult it can be at times. We swim around 4500 yards each practice, which is equal to 180 laps! How long would it take you to swim 180 laps? When we are finished with our main set,  our muscles, legs and arms are sore and we have a cool down. A cool down is a mini slow set to warm our bodies and stretch out our muscles so we can transition from the pool to land.

Secondly, water is a part of me because when I am in it, I feel calm and at ease. When I first started swimming, I hated the water. I would cry during lessons and then go home and cry about how much I didn’t want to practice. My mom would always tell me, “You have to go to practice!” I knew there was no way that I could convince her otherwise, so I told my little 5 year old self, ‘I have to learn how to swim. Even though I don’t like it I will put up with it.’

Well, all of that changed.  I learned how to properly swim and was invited to BE the swim team. Yes, at the time I was the only one there. I learned to love the water and feel calm when I am in it. Now that I think about it, it was my mom and my dad who made me do it so I have them to thank. I keep improving everyday and perfect the skills I already know while learning new techniques.

I remember learning a flip turn when I was six years old. It took me a long time because it was so hard. Every time I went to practice, I would tell myself, ‘I have to learn how to flip-turn! I will swim so much faster once I learn it!’ I worked on it everyday for more than a month, and eventually I started to get it. But, learning a skill in swimming sometimes takes a long time. Even now, my coach told me that I need to work on my turns. Getting off the wall quickly is an a big component to competitive swimming.

Thirdly, Water is a part of me because I love to be in it. Even though I swim competitively, I still enjoy the water just for fun. When I am in Florida I play Marco Polo and other games in the pool. I love to surf in the waves. Snorkeling is an awesome way to explore under the sea. Sometimes  I dive deep down to the ocean floor to look for creatures.  I can hold my breath for almost 90 seconds underwater. Have you ever done that? Even when I’m not competitively swimming, I would choose to be in the water.

Overall, swim meets are the best parts of swimming.  I get to go to a pool and race against people my age for medals and times. I always tell myself before I race in a meet, ‘Its not all about what place you get, it’s about my own race times.’  It’s true! Sure, winning is pretty cool, but with a fast time you could break a record or get a cut to an important meet such as State or Regionals.

In conclusion, I think that the water is a very important part of me for many reasons. I enjoy swimming in it, I feel calm and ease when I am surrounded by it, playing it it, racing in it, using it for showers and baths, and of course,  drinking it. I am very grateful for water!

Did you like it? Tell me in the comments down below.

See you soon,