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With the holidays officially over, it is time to get back to work. School starts again and that means more swimming and a lot of serious focus.

This is the part of swim season that I love and, quite frankly, dislike the most.

Sadly, it means we do not get out of school for breaks but, instead, go back to the daily routine of school, then practice and homework, followed by complete exhaustion. However, on the bright side, we do get to burn off all the holiday cooking and fattening treats.

This is my fourth and final season swimming for Leonardtown High School and it will probably prove to be the most difficult. Our meet schedule is a little weird this year, containing meets every Wednesday and Friday for the rest of the regular season until SMAC. It is going to be really tiring thatís for sure, but I am looking forward to bringing in the new year with some amazing swims.

Meets are really fun for us as a team. We all travel on the bus together and listen to music, eat snacks, relax and enjoy each otherís company.

When we arrive, we know itís game time. We put on our focus and put our hard work to the test. It is definitely nerve-wracking because we all want to do our best and support our team.

One of the things I enjoy most about meets is cheering for my friends. When I am not warming up or getting ready to swim, you will certainly catch me at the side of the pool cheering on my friends and fellow teammates. While I may not be the best swimmer, I surely strive to be the best cheerleader.

After a meet, we are really happy that all the pressure is off, plus we get to stop at Panera Bread for dinner. Of course, thatís my favorite part. We really do feel connected when we push together tables and cram into booths for some quality team bonding.

By that point, weíre all ready to go home. Some of us still have homework and a long night of studying ahead, but we all think itís worth it in some special way.

The time after break is crucial to our teamís success. St. Maryís College of Maryland is where weíve been practicing most often this season and for winter break they have converted to their Olympic-size 50-meter pool. This is good and bad, well in my perspective anyway.

Itís good because we get a really hard work that ultimately make us better and conditioned to compete well, but the bad part is itís hard.

We all know we have some tough meets ahead of us, but I think with a lot of hard work and full focus we can make this a successful season for both the boys and the girls.

Alex Theriot

Leonardtown senior