I may be leaving Gaia to pursue a dream.
This may be a very big shock to most of my closest friends on Gaia, but it is true. I am leaving this website.
On December 8th, 2011, I embarked on a trip to attend the Olympic Development Program in Colorado Springs, at the Olympic Training Center. In March, 2011, I had started Water Polo, a sport that originated in England in the 1800s, first being a men-only sport until in 2000 they created women teams for CIF.
The camp was to train and teach young athletes from twelve to fourteen years old more advanced techniques and fundamentals to use in tournaments and games that an Olympic athlete would use. We were taught by collage coaches, Olympic Water Polo coaches, and a few of the members of the United States Junior National Women Team came and helped us while we were in the pool.
We stayed at the facility for four to five days, Monday, December 12th, being the last day of the camp.
I was the newest athlete to ever play Water Polo at the camp, for a lot of the girls had been playing since they were eight or nine, even five when they participated in Splash Ball (a child-form of Water Polo). I had only been playing for about six months, and so I was the most inexperienced, though the coaches were very impressed with my skill despite being almost brand-new.
We had six hour practices each day, first having breakfast, then a warm up and walkthrough in the Gymnasium, then we hopped into the Olympic Swimming Pool, the same one Michael Phelps practiced and swam in. We had a total of twenty two hours of straight Water Polo for the past four-five days, not counting breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and Gymnasium time.
There were teams from different countries that were training there for the 2012 London Olympics. Teams from South Africa, Israel, and Russia were there to train, but we did not train with them. Our training was completely different from theirs.
The last night of our camp, Sunday, December 11th, 2011, was a little emotional for me. I had come to love the Olympic Training Center so much that I didn't want to leave the next morning. When we said good night and goodbye to our coaches, I broke down in my coach's arms, crying:
"You were such a great coach. I don't want to leave, I don't want to leave."
My own words hit me deep down, and I had realized what I wanted to become as I broke away from Coach Aaron's arms.
As my friends hugged me and softly told me that I couldn't stay, but one day I may come back, I wiped away my tears, and said a strong but shuttered, "Let's go."
That night, I thought about my words that I had said to my coach, and those words hit me with such strong emotion. I was inspired by the Olympians who had helped train us during our two hour sessions each day, guiding us and helping with the skills in which we were to learn.
But my coaches had said that the dream does not come to you overnight or by a coach who yells at you all the time to try harder, but it becomes an enormous desire and a will to make a dream come true. The true inspiration comes from inside you.
"Thinkers become Dreamers. Dreamers become Athletes. Athletes become Olympians. Olympians become Legends. To become any of these, you must have the desire and will to become what you dream of becoming."
This is a quote I made up while I was at the ODP. I was then inspired by this quote I made up, and it made me a Dreamer. Then, as I trained myself in my hometown, I became more of an Athlete than I really am. Now I must take a difficult but rewarding path to the next chapter.
As I end this message, saying goodbye if I never come back, I am in the process of becoming what I want to become. I will survive through the pain, the sweat, the tears, the failures, and the frustration, and be rewarded with success, happiness, accomplishments, and the great feeling of joy when I score a goal.
Even though I am only fourteen and I cannot attend the ODP in Colorado Springs next year due to reaching the age limit, I aspire to become an Olympian.
I am leaving due to not wanting to be distracted, for I am taking this very seriously. I will run every morning, I will train at the pool every weekend and every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday with my team, to sign up for every ODP Camp, and I will have the intense desire of taking the next step, to turn to the next chapter. I may be on, but very rarely.
I am proud to be an American, and I will do whatever it takes to accomplish my dream.
Your Unknown Friend.
I understand that this is a long About Me thing, but I must put another thing into the light.
1. USA National Team for Water Polo and compete in the Olympics, and be an Olympian.
2. US Honor Guard. To accomplish this would be absolutely amazing, though the road for this is treacherous. However, I am determined to serve my country in this way, to honor the Unknown Soldier and fight for this land in which I live in.