changing reality was all it took

Troublesome facts that clog the life

With multitudes of failures marring

Lives we wished we’d never led.

And all it would have taken was

To change our sweet reality.

The light was red, but let’s just say

For argument’s sake, that it was green,

And hey presto! Your life’s so changed,

From barely even making the team

To all that glitters is the gold.

When I was a kid my event in the pool was the 800m freestyle. There have been many great female distance swimmers over the years and we were lucky enough to have home representation in the form of Rebecca Adlington.

However, when the 2012 London Olympics rolled around, an unknown fifteen year old called Katie Ledecky stole the show and she has been dominant ever since. As a past swimmer, I watch her in awe. Her stroke is hypnotic and she is the type of swimmer that makes me immediately want to go back to the pool and train myself.

I was watching this little Youtube documentary the other day and it was interesting to see how she dealt with the pressure on that night in London. Really, she took what was actually being shouted and turned it into something that was much more positive for her.

Most people, that night, were shouting for Rebecca because she was the hometown girl. But instead of hearing ‘Becky! Becky! Becky!’ she chose to hear ‘Ledecky! Ledecky! Ledecky!’

I’m not suggesting that this alone was responsible for her winning an Olympic gold medal, but that surge of adrenaline and confidence must have done something. Sometimes we need to literally turn the world upside down and back to front to achieve our impossible goals, but sometimes, with a bit of imagination, we can create something magical.

We can quite literally make up our own little world that fits our own story.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the 100m butterfly call room

Purgatory, is what I’d call it,

Somewhere beautiful yet desolate, a blue

That could require a pair of shades to take

Away the edge, the brutal feeling that

We’re on the edge, tilting dangerously

Towards the great unknown, and swimmer’s arms

Swinging manically, their quiet singing

As they listen through their Beats, wanting

To be sick, to run, to enter through the jaws of Hell,

But they will have no choice, but to walk the other way,

Out into the light, where spirits weight,

Lenses of their eyes zoom in and we must strip away

Our tracksuits like those butterflies emerging

From cocoons, fluttering our wings or flags.

But butterflies don’t race, they dance,

And we will swim until our lungs are burning with

That enduring need to win, to know we’re loved

And in that call room we are shaken to our core

With an awful uncertainty, stay or go

That’s the dilemma that the swimmer meets.