I am suddenly woken up by the African chanting from the beginning of the song “Its the Circle of Life.” I flip my body over and slide the unlock on my phone before the words of the song begin, and I have the lyrics stuck in my head for the rest of eternity. It’s 4:20 AM and time for swim practice. I check my pulse thinking maybe there isn’t one, and if there’s no pulse, I am dead and do not have to go. But this morning there is a pulse. So I scratch my head and stretch my body out as long as I can to switch on the light. And in perfectly synchronized order, I am in my car by 4:36, driving to pick up my carpool buddy on my way to the pool. This is the half hour of questioning my sanity.

It’s 5:00 now, and the whole team is stretching in imperfect unison, body parts flinging from one side to the other like a well-tuned clock. You can walk around the weight room reading each persons’ eyes of the past 24 hours. Research paper. Art project. The last season of Grey’s Anatomy. Yet we are all here with our own purpose: lifting and running and jumping. This is the hour of questioning my sanity

Practice comes to a close and so does the dance session in the locker room. I plop into the car, slide on my school lanyard, and blast today’s tunes all the way to school to start my day. I have one hour to get done the homework that got pushed to the backboard the night before the bell rings at 8:00. Which inevitably begins the 7 hours of questioning my sanity.

I pick up my middle schooler and am on my way to my second practice. I, once again, walk down the brick hallway of the pool where I can hear the chatting of girls in the office and the popping of the tennis balls boys are throwing against the wall. Although we are all inevitably exhausted, camaraderie prevails and gets us through another practice. We get changed and are out on the pool deck in enough time to slip into the cool pool to do ropes and begin our set. Where, you guessed it, comes two more hours of questioning my sanity.

But I think it’s time for me to stop questioning my sanity because it’s what I love to do. It doesn’t make sense to most people and, quite frankly, it doesn’t make much sense to me. But it gets me through my day. It doesn’t matter if what you do makes sense to other people; if it makes you happy, or keeps you grounded, or causes you to become stronger, then do it for yourself. Because you’re all you got.

Stay Gold,

Zoe