Sport has always been a significant part of my life. When I was younger, I would always find myself competing with my friends or family, whether it was an official swim meet or simply running against my brother to see who was the fastest (I just had to make sure it was still me). Little did I know back then where my life would end up. Playing sports has always been my escape from reality. It was a place where I could go when things started piling up around me. Somewhere where I could be alone with myself and my thoughts. However, the events that would follow later in my life would change my life forever. It indeed is a strenuous journey from beginner to division one athlete.
I competed in three sports growing up, tennis, cricket, and swimming. For the most part, swimming has been my favorite out of the three and the one that required the most time and effort. Once I got to High school, I had to make a fundamental decision. I had to choose one sport to carry on with, simply because the day was too short. So, I decided that my love for swimming overshadowed both cricket and tennis. Thinking back on it today, if I could go back in time, I would make the same decision all over again.
The combination of swimming and high school taught me how to manage my time effectively and efficiently. With almost 4 hours of practice each day, along with another 6 hours of school, I learned that time is precious and that I need to make the most of it. However, I was never the best student. I have never been someone who could sit in front of his books and study for hours at a time. My mind would wander, and I would raid the fridge every five minutes. Then, I decided that if I wanted to take my swimming to the next level, I needed to work equally hard in school. It has been a dream of mine to one day go swim in the United States. For that to happen, I realized that one major thing needed to change. I had to become a better student, not only in school but also in swimming.
When I was about 15, that is precisely what I set my mind to. I was committed to keeping myself from becoming my own worst enemy. I trained hard in and out of the pool and worked hard in the classroom. When I turned 17, I started to get my name out there. I sent out countless emails to pretty much every school in the United States, hoping that at least one of them gets back to me. For months I failed to get any replies, but I stayed consistent with everything I was doing. Then, one day, I got an email that would change my life…
The Beginning of My College Career
Being from South Africa, I knew very little about universities in the United States at the time. I received an offer from Florida State University to join the swim team. I was ecstatic, even not genuinely being able to grasp the sheer size of this opportunity. “I made it! I finally made it!” I said to myself. The hard work and perseverance have finally paid off. I was about to make my biggest dream become a reality. My college career was full of ups and downs that would shape every part of me, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it in my future post. Check out part 2 NOW!
Dream. Dare. Succeed.
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Hi there! My name is Rudo Loock. I am a former competitive swimmer from South Africa. I went to school and trained at Florida State University in the United States of America. I have always had a great passion for both writing and sport and now I have found a way to combine the two things I love most. My goal is to help you achieve great things you never thought were possible. I hope you enjoy my posts and dream big!