My Synchro Team Turns 30

There's no doubt in my mind that each of my four kids will be involved in sports. They'll be able to try a variety of activities—starting soon, even, now that they're getting older (3) and bigger!—and hopefully they'll find something they enjoy, get excited about or display a natural talent for. But more importantly, I want them to learn all the things that being involved in a sport has taught me over the years.

Swimming certainly played a very huge and impactive role on my life, ever since the age of seven. That's the year I joined The Pirouettes of Texas (PTX), a synchronized swimming team that was then based in Irving. I loved the water and one of our neighbors at the time saw a flyer for the team then immediately brought it to my mom and insisted I needed to try it out! I truly did enjoy my first practice with them, but I thought the caps and nose clips were pretty weird. And the goggles they made back then tended to take up half your face and make you look like a bug, ha. But it didn't take long before I got on the band wagon with all the getup and was swimming away like a fish.

Swimming with my team earned me several life long best friends, many of whom I've now known for 23 years—including my coaches! I learned how to apply myself, set goals to accomplish, work hard, stay dedicated to the cause, be a member of the team, push myself both mentally and physically and support those around me as well as display good sportsmanship and set an example for younger swimmers coming behind me.

It was hard for me to leave the sport behind, I was nearly 18 and ad suffered a slipped disc in my lower back that caused me a lot of pain and made day-to-day life pretty difficult. After much therapy and many treatments at Scottish Rite hospital, I finally made a fair recovery but it came at the price of stopping swimming. The doctors warned me that if I didn't let my back recover, I would end up having to get my vertebrae fused together. Eek! I had harbored hopes of swimming through college or possibly even doing more, but I decided to take a different route and pursue my college education in Texas and follow my second passion of journalism. Thankfully, I've had minimal back issues ever since finishing treatment and even survived my quadruplet pregnancy fairly well—the extensive bed rest probably kept a lot of the stress off my back, I figure.

Through all those years of swimming, I learned a lot about myself and certainly grew as a person and a teammate. It helped me become strong, independent, strong willed and driven. And, like I mentioned above, I am still best friends with pretty much all my teammates and many of us live within close distance of each other today! We all have regular get-togethers and coordinate meet-ups when everyone's in town for special events, holidays and such. It's such a special bond and one that we will always share!

Celebrating the 30 year anniversary for PTX was such a fun, special night! We caught up with swimmers and coaches, both former and new, enjoyed watching photos from over the years, ate, drank and laughed together, honored several former PTX members by inducting them into the team hall of fame and I believe there were a least a few hundred selfies snapped.

all the swimmers and coaches (both former and current)  in attendance for the 30th anny party
my longtime coach, megan (left), and my mom!
myself, my mom and former ptx head coach patti—who founded the team in 1985
myself and megan
A couple years ago, we teamed up again to compete in the Masters synchronized swimming championship in 2008, which was held in Las Vegas that year. (A big part of what motivated us to compete, a trip to Sin City!) We ended up taking the gold and it was so awesome to be back in the pool swimming with my girls again, and we hope to do that again in the coming years.

Now with careers and jobs, spouses, kids and family, we've all certainly gotten busy with life but still keep in touch regularly and talk online just about every single day. We support each other through all the challenges and celebrations in life from near and far and I cherish my teammates and my beloved sport so much!

Here's a video I worked (many long hours) on and assembled for the official 30 year anniversary party this past weekend. It brought back a lot of memories and laughs, and you can also get a good look at the sport of synchro and the history of our team! Go Big Red!

PTX Synchronized Swimming Team 30 Year Anniversary Tribute from Texas Take on Vimeo.

I wore a red dress in support of my team—our colors are red and white—and loved every second of such a special evening. (The husband unfortunately couldn't attend since he was on quad duty that night and did an awesome job of keeping the kids. They all ended up in the front yard running through the sprinklers before showers and a freshly cooked meal he made all himself!)

Needless to say, I am grateful for swimming, for synchro, my awesome coaches and my team. I wouldn't be who I am today without them! May my love of the water never end!
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