Literary Corner

Below are some fun literary works by kids in the DMV about the sport of swimming.  We invite readers to send us their aquatic prose and verse so we can share it with the rest of the swimming and diving community.


By Ruqayyah Abouraya


A sport done in water with a cap and goggles, the force of the water gets me swimming.  Swimming is much more than just moving through the water because it teaches you about sportsmanship and consideration and empathy. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, just the fact that you tried.

Swimming is my passion because it reminds me I can do anything if I just work hard. When I jump into the water, I feel like I’m coming home. That’s what most swimmers feel like. Swimming is not only about making your body move fast through the water, but having the heart to keep doing it day after day after day.

I like swimming because sometimes the water helps deal with your emotions and can make everything better. If you are angry and the pool is freezing, the icy water will take your mind off the thing you were angry about. Or when you’re at the end of a two hour practice and your friends are right there with you in the pool.

Swimming is my passion, and it always cheers me up, no matter what the day.

Reach for the Wall
By Giulia Baroldi


Your name is called, it’s time.
You have been waiting, anxious for this showtime but you didn’t want it to come,
dreaming it could be chewed up like a sweet gum

without you touching the water.
I feel the anxiety of my mom
watching her daughter
accomplish two dreams at the same time.

Losing this race could be a crime, I must find my winning pace.
On the block, all around silence,
Feeling lonely I cannot breathe.

I sense my opponents’ defiance.
I slightly shrug my shoulders
and grit my teeth.
The buzzer goes off and my muscles explode
Off the block into the dazzling, cold water.

Blastoff to my goal
Reaching for the wall.

Sweating in the Water
By Giulia Baroldi

Splash, Splash, Splash
gaining momentum like a boat speeding into the vast blue ocean.
The determination of never giving up floating in your brain like a skydiver jumping from the highest cliff.

The pain is growing inside up, up, up until it’s unbearable you want to give up, you must but down deeper you know that the winner is the one
who can bear more pain than anyone else.
Splash, Splash, Splash.

Watery Wishes
By Giulia Baroldi

I wish I could fly on top of the water like superwomen.
I wish I could breathe underwater like mermaids.
I wish the rhythm of my stroke could sound like a rock and roll song.
I wish I could never go to morning practice and still be the best.
I wish my grandpa could see me from heaven.

I wish I could swim every ocean in the world.
I wish I could splash, dash, flash like a bullet in the water.
I wish I could eat and speak like a fish under water.
I wish I could invent a new stroke, just joking!
I wish chlorine could smell like rose petals.

I wish all my wishes could be blessed with holy water.

End of the Race Sensations
By Giulia Baroldi

When you touch the wall the butterflies fly away
You feel like it’s Friday.
Touching the wall: the hands start clapping
the people watching look in awe.

Reaching out to the opponent’s hand is a good ritual,
they are not dangerous anymore and they feel the same way.
Jumping out of the water as light as a feather.
I look for somebody in the crowd: is she smiling at me?

She does indeed and so now I can breathe again.
My coach is not fully happy with my performance
that’s her job.
How strange! Do I start feeling sad because it is all over?

By Lindsay Knapp


     I’m 90 minutes into a practice with 5,000 yards behind me. The smell of chlorine has faded, and all I can think about right now is how I am going to survive one more 100 freestyle race after barely getting through the burning pain of the last 19. My coach is on the deck, yelling some nonsense that is supposed to be motivating. I think back to a championship meet in December when I finally had swum a time that I had worked hard for, and then push myself to achieve that pace again. As I swim faster, I am reminded of one teammate, whose passion for hard work resonates with me. This passion and desire for achievement is what assures me the pool is where I am most content.

On May 28, one of my favorite days of the year comes around: the first day of summer swim team.  I am beyond excited, as I get to coach younger swimmers, and compete in a different league at a pool within my community. Summer swimming is less demanding, and has much more team spirit than the more individually-focused club swim season.

Ruqayyah, walked in, about four feet tall, perfect armrest height, if only she ever slowed down. Her short brown hair was thin, but perfect for me to braid it in under five minutes. I was assigned to a lane and Ruqayyah was jumping around the lane, eager to hear what set was next.   I was surprised by her excitement, as six year olds do not typically enjoy being in the 69-degree water, doing repetitive drills. At the first meet, Ruqayyah ran up to me yelling my name, and described, in detail, her plan for each event she was going to swim. Three days later at the next meet, she found me, asked about my races, and wished me luck. Ruqayyah encouraged me before I swam, and there was no one happier for me than she was when I got out of the pool after a race.  Every day I came into the pool, and she demonstrated a new skill she had taught herself because she had seen me do it before. It became clear to me that Ruqayyah and I had a lot of passion to offer one another. Hers was a fresh excitement for a new sport, while mine was reaching goals I had trained for all year.

I had no idea about the impact our friendship had on her. She asked me at the beginning of the following season how I spelled my last name, and she quickly explained she needed to know for a school assignment. I did not think much of it, but later her mom informed me that Ruqayyah wrote a book, which she dedicated to me.

The pool brought Ruqayyah and me together; we are people with similar passions, even though are separated by age and experience. It is a place where I have found growth beyond physical improvements or time drops in big races. Ruqayyah, and the pool in which we swam together, taught me that swimming is more than waking up at 4:30 in the morning to train and qualify for a meet or stressing about a time I split in a race or what suit I am going to wear. Ruqayyah’s motivation and the pool in which we swam together remind me of the importance of hard work and dedication. I know that the pool will force me to grow. I know that I will always belong at the pool.

To be content means to possess complete satisfaction, not wanting or needing anything more. For me, complete satisfaction is found in the water.

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