A couple of days ago there was a ‘daily post’ about writing a blog about what would your life would be like if you made one different decision. I wanted to write about this, despite of my recent neglect of this blog, because it is very clear where in my life I made decision that changed my life forever *dun dun dun*.
This moment happened when I decided to stop swimming. I started swimming when I was about 6 years old, I had competitions by the age of 8 and when into serious practice from the age of 10. By the time I was 14 I had practice 7 times a week, including 6 am practice on Wednesdays and competitions every Sunday. When I was about 15, swimming got less and less fun for me. The people on my team didn’t really like me and I didn’t (or couldn’t) have really a social life outside of practice because it took up all of my time.
I wasn’t an easy teenager and going into adolescence I wanted to do what everyone around me was doing: going out, having boyfriends, having a social life. So, I started to resist. I went to practice less and less and when I did go, I didn’t give it my all. Even without the necessary determination it was pretty clear for me that I would never make it as a professional athlete; I didn’t have the right body type for it, something that I was continually made aware of. So rather than doing something that I didn’t want to do anymore, I quit.
So, what would have happened if I didn’t stop swimming? I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t have been happy, spending a large amount of time every day doing something that I didn’t enjoy doing anymore, feeling self-concious about myself and feeling inadequate because I probably would never have gotten the results that my team mates were getting. This is the realistic option.
The non-realistic option would be that I had excelled as a swimmer and would now be Holland’s next swim star just like Ranomi Kromowidjojo (who I have competed against, although I was so far out of her league she was in the metaphorical showers by the time I finished). Not very likely though.
But that is the most clear point where my life changed. Am I sorry that I made this decision? No, I am not. I didn’t want to spend my youth under incredible pressure to perform and to feel worthless when I didn’t get the right results. The pressure that would have been in my life would probably have caused my grades to drop and would have made the chance of successfully getting a higher education degree incredibly smaller. I probably would have never gone to England and I would probably have never enrolled for a masters degree. I would have missed out on a lot of things, all for something that I wouldn’t have enjoyed or would have been successful in. Yea.. I’m happy with the road I took.