Growing up, I tried out every sport suitable for a young girl to play in efforts to “test out the waters” as some would say to ultimately get a feel for what I was good at, or potentially could be good at. Coming from an athletic background, in which both of my parents participated in multiple sports, it was only inevitable that I too fell in love with one. Long story short, I absolutely sucked at every sport I tried, and when I say absolutely sucked I’m not just being dramatic. I mean I physically could not find a way to be even somewhat coordinated on land; it just wasn’t going to happen. Although at the very end of this search for athleticism and just something, ANYTHING, to associate myself with, I found that I actually adapted to the water better than most. For this very reason I find myself today writing this explanation as to why I do what I do wearing a shirt that reads “UCLA Water Polo.” So why do I do what I do? Why do I play collegiate water polo? Well, my initial response to that question would be that more than anything else I truly am in love with the game; in love with the fact that there is never a dull moment. Some would say, and have said, that this passion I have isn’t worth the pain; the constant pain in my shoulders from swimming thousand upon thousands of yards, the pain of waking up early and going to bed late, the pain of being at a disadvantage compared to other students who don’t lose study time to practice; the pain. Although, these very reasons are exactly why I continue to set my alarm for seven AM every morning; water polo each and everyday teaches me and contributes to me being a better person. Everything that goes into being a student athlete at a university as prestigious as UCLA has shaped my character in ways that I will forever be thankful for. Playing a sport such as water polo has taught me to be a disciplined, dedicated, and hard working individual in every aspect of my life.
I do what I do because I love the thrill of competition. I do what I do because it forces me to be mentally strong. I do what I do because I love the family I have made through it. I do what I do in hopes of becoming a better person everyday. I continue to do what I do because without it I would be, simply incomplete.