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AT THE POOL Lexi Guo, an eighth grader at the Annunciation Orthodox School, trains with her diving team 3-4 times per week.
The natatorium is a special place to me. Many people, including my parents, try to avoid this humid, chlorine-filled environment. I, however, find it very calming. My love for the pool can be seen in my bleached hair. There is a sense of peace that can be felt underwater. Every time I plunge in, I float up feeling weightless. When I dive, the world fades away.
Three years ago, I switched from competitive gymnastics to diving. I began training at the University of Houston’s world-class facility. In August, I was sad to learn that club diving lessons would no longer be offered there, and I would have to leave my coach. Fortunately, I found another wonderful coach, with whom I now practice in Pearland three to four times a week. The commute is farther, and my family makes big sacrifices to drive me to and from the facility. I am dedicated to diving and enjoy a new training regimen, which includes weekly gymnastics sessions. My teammates at the Bay Area Stars Diving Team range widely in age; I find myself inspired by them every time I am at the pool.
Diving allows me to connect with accomplished individuals and coaches from all over the country. In the summer, I attend an intensive diving camp at The University of Texas. When my family visits my grandparents in Los Angeles, I dive at the Rose Bowl, an outdoor pool located at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. The scenery is incredibly beautiful. All around the bowl are forest green trees, the azure sky, and light beaming from the brilliant sun. I am so grateful for these opportunities.
Through diving, I have developed good judgment and am accountable for my actions. Whether I am diving off of a 1-meter springboard or 10-meter platform, I know I can land safely into the water. I have no one to blame except myself when I perform a bad dive and can shine when I dive well. I love the rush of adrenaline that flipping high up into the air and ripping through the water gives me. I hope to continue diving throughout high school and beyond.
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