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Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by Katie Walczak

Swimming Lessons Open Doors to Other Opportunities

My name is Katie Walczak also known as “Miss Katie”. I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky to a family who raised me in and around the water. I have now been living in the Denver area for almost 2 years to get closer to my love of the outdoors and to continue my passion of teaching children and adults to swim.

My love of swimming did not come easily. My parents had me in swim lessons as an infant and after learning all of the essentials, my folks placed me on my school’s swim team and our local club team. I have always enjoyed swimming until it combined competition along with it. As a child I was always very sharing and was not concerned about winning. I began to get burnt out after three years of competitive swimming and only enjoyed playing mermaids with my best friends in the water. This was until my family discovered our local synchronized swimming team.

I have always been a lover of the visual and performing arts. While I was competitively swimming I was also in dance lessons, cross country, voice lessons, piano lessons, and in school plays. Once I found synchronized swimming I was able to combine my love of swimming with theater, dance and collaborating with a team. I still remember creating routines with my coaches to songs of my choice such as “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morris and “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. I instantly fell in love with the ability to choose and do what I loved best!AdobeStock_20637842.jpg

Learning to control my breathing to an even further extent and keeping a large smile on my face no matter how long I had been treading water were my challenges in synchro.  I would have never been successful at synchronized swimming had my parents not put me in swim lessons and competitive swimming. Our warm ups would consist of swimming a minimum off 300-400 yards with all 4 strokes followed by treading water with your hands above your head. It was a different challenge and a completely different type of swimming sport.

Synchronized swimming will always be in my heart. I may no longer practice my ballet leg or bent knee vertical, but I will never forget the experience I had with the team members I had. That is the beauty of aquatics. Even if your calling isn’t swimming competitively or synchronized swimming, it is such an important skill to learn as a child or adult. Our earth is predominately water, and if I hadn’t learned to swim at the age I had, I would have never been able to experience being around water to the extent that I have. I will forever be grateful for my swimming background and the aquatics community!

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