It was a pleasure to speak with the determined and kindhearted Matilda about her experience with integrating self-care into her routine as a highschooler playing a competitive sport.
1. It’s great to speak with you, Matilda! Thank you for your continuous support towards our organization. As a high schooler playing a competitive sport, what can you tell us about balancing swimming and studies?
Hi! As a competitive swimmer, a lot of my evenings and weekends have been taken up by practices and meets. At times, it can be very overwhelming to balance all of my commitments, but I've found communication has been the best tool for me. I may miss practice because of a test the next day, but most of the time I have had enough time to balance both.
2. How do you take care of your mental health with a busy schedule? How important is self-care for you?
Taking care of myself and making sure I'm happy are my top priorities. Being exposed to toxic environments and the overall pressure of a competitive sport can be very overwhelming, and the balance between schoolwork and swimming can take a toll on my mental health. Sometimes, taking a break from swimming for a week to get back to where I need to be is necessary, and when I come back, I know I'm better than ever and ready to start training again!
3. What are your plans for the future?
Well, I was recently nominated as captain of my high school's swim and dive team, and I am so excited to build up the team and break more records! We were state champions last year, and I would love for the girls and I to do it again for my final year at the school. As for my year-round club team, I have a lot of meets all over the country coming up over the next few weeks and I'm hoping to get a few great swims in.
4. Who is your biggest support system?
My family, teammates, and coaches have been the most supportive people in my swimming career. My teammates and I cheer, laugh, and cry together and I couldn't ask for better friends to be there for me when it gets tough. My current coach gives the best advice, not only about swimming, and he helped me come back to loving swimming, which was something I struggled with a few years ago. And of course, my family has supported me through everything, and they have pushed me to goals I never thought I could reach and I am so grateful for that.
5. Who are your personal icons?
I don't know if I have any specific swimming icons, but I love to watch people from teams and towns I am a part of compete at national and international level meets. They really inspire me to never give up.
6. Was there anything else you’d like to share? Thank you so much and best of luck with everything!
Always remember to surround yourself with people who care about, love, and respect you. It makes the world seem a little less lonely :) Thank you so much for this interview!