Saturday, May 28, 2011

A little about me...

I was born in Matanzas, Cuba, a city with many rivers that ended in a beautiful bay that I had the luxury of seeing every morning on my way to school. Swimming was part of the everyday life, the beach was the public space of the neighborhood. All the kids on my block knew how to swim and "El Tennis" - the small beach right across from our houses - was our playground. At the age of seven I started swimming in a team with other kids, and competing as well. This brought my love for the sport to a different level, and not only did I want to swim for the fun of it, but I also wanted to be fast at it!!! However, after a few years of training hard everyday, I decided to try a new activity and rest a little from swimming. This time it was ballet dancing what I pursued, but I only practiced it for three years until a rare illness - AVM of the spine - affected my body and left me in a wheelchair.
This incident made me realize how important was swimming for me. I knew that the water was the only environment where my body would feel normal again. It allowed me to discover that the wheelchair was only an obstacle to do some things but not the ones I love the most.
At the age of 15 a new adventure started, our family started a new life in Miami, Fl, which I consider home today. There I decided to go back and do competitive swimming for Palmetto High School, the experience was great, I swam against able body athletes and proved one more time that the wheels did not defined me.  After high school, college began and swimming had to start playing a secondary roll while school was the priority, although the love for the sport was always there. During my third year of college, it was time to go back and this time with a BIG dream, become part of the US Paralympic Team. Together with my coaches Andrew and Belinda Philips and with Flying Fish Swim Club I had the support that allowed me to compete in trials for the China games in 2008. I did not become part of the Paralympic team that year but it was the beginning the great journey I am living today and I welcome you to join.

1 comment:

  1. And many a good time we had at "El Tenis". I am proud of you cuz. Love you