Love to Swim, Swim to Love
Guest post written by Edwin Mateo, aquatics manager of one of the newest British Swim School franchises in Central New Jersey.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share my unique story involving both swimming and love.
In their youth, my parents followed their respective older siblings’ path by joining their high school swim team. Their shared love of water and of competition brought the families closer. These bonds also inspired each of my parents to hone their skills.
My mother was so skilled that she surpassed most of the boys on the swim team by the time she reached high school. As such, she was one of few girls who practiced with the boys’ team. My father, primarily a diver, also swam on the team. Through a strong work ethic, my father became the best diver in high school and eventually the city.
Given their love for swimming, it was inevitable that my parents would cross paths in an aquatic environment. My mother learned to dive from none other than my father. The two went to become high school sweethearts; together they worked as lifeguards in the summer and participated in water sports during the winter. Love was in the water then and still is to this day. They say there are many fish in the sea but for my parents it was two fish in the pool.
My loving parents introduced me to the water. We kept an above ground pool that was always the center of family events. Although we had tons of fun, it was at these social gatherings that my parents showed me the importance for water safety. When winter arrived my parents routinely brought my siblings and me to the YMCA after school. Our parents coached us little by little into capable swimmers. And I am overly grateful for it. My family showed me how to love and enjoy the water. This month, I hope you can do that same with your loved ones!