First day of the meet in Dubai went well. The 100 breaststroke was much better than Russia’s. I am quite happy  that I am progressing and getting faster for every meet.

Its never too late to learn things about yourself.  They say the day  you stop learning something, is the day you’re six feet…you know the rest. I have realized, that though I try to be as independent as possible with everything I do, especially swimming,  there is nothing better than having a coach beside me.  I thought I did well during the first three world cup meets, and I did do well. The practices, mental strategies, nutrition, they were all where they needed to be. Never the less the moment my coach arrives, its like everything I have been doing was….well I have no words to describe that feeling.  For those of you who do not know, I train at SOFLO, South Florida Aquatic Club in Pembroke Pines, Florida. The coach is Christopher Anderson Jr, and he Is a coach that many would call a busybody. He is always doing something, but its either for the SOFLO company, (ceo), Chairman of Florida gold coast (the youngest person to have two consecutive terms), or coaching as SOFLO head coach, among all the other duties he does along the way.

The moment he walked into the hotel, it was all positive vibes. He noticed instantly that I had a head cold, and then referred to it as ‘something new to spice up the meet,’, then he proceeded on any and everything that I could do better at this meet. He makes me laugh at the most ludacris notions, and turns even the most borderline racial references, from other people, into jokes. It is because of him I can calmly swim anywhere in the world and not let any racial slurs affect me. Its because of him I know who I am;  I am a black female swimmer, and he reminds me of it, every single day. No one in the world could ever discourage me, because of my shape, color, swimming ability, race, finances…basically anything you throw at me would bounce off.  He has pumped me with numerous go-to-attitudes, attacking world records, and frankly he keeps me not only mentally in-check but unbreakable, in all aspects. I owe much of that to him (also a large part  to my family and a small portion to my trainer)

Swimming, sports and I believe anything we do in this life, we could not accomplish without a support team. They are the driving force when you ran out of gas,  the alarm clock, when sometimes yours just doesn’t go off and when your tired they come roaring in with the energy bus.  They re-light the fire, when there is not enough to feed it, and when you think there is  no hope, they give you so much, that you think it is already a reality.

Thank you to everyone that is part of my support team.

Each of my  successes are yours as well.

Till we meet again.

A.ATKINSON

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