Why She Swims – Maya M. - See Her Swim

Why She Swims – Maya M.

Our “Why She Swims” blog posts feature interviews with real-life swimmers, just like you. 

If the question is pool swim or open water swim, Maya’s answer is yes. A junior in high school, Maya lives in Berkeley, CA, and swims at the pool six days a week with her high school team. Once a week, she heads across the Bay to Aquatic Park in San Francisco to get her open water swim fix. 

What inspired you to start swimming?

Both my parents swim, so they got me involved in rec swimming at a young age. I really got into it when I was around 11 or 12. I found it to be incredibly meditative and I really loved the friends that I made through the sport. I got into open water swimming because I love being connected to nature and natural bodies of water have always been the most beautiful thing to me. 

What do you love about swimming?

I love how meditative and freeing swimming is. You learn so much about yourself while you’re swimming because you are alone with your thoughts for long periods of time. I’ve really learned to cherish the quietness of it. I also love the freedom, particularly with open water swimming. When I’m in expansive bodies of water, I  really feel like I can see and do anything, which is such a cool perspective. 

One of my favorite, favorite things about swimming, though, is the people that I have met. The community is so supportive, and I’ve met some of the coolest people I know through the sport which is something that I am so grateful for. 

What do you find challenging about swimming?

The loneliness of swimming can be incredibly challenging. Sometimes it can be too much to be with my own thoughts for as many hours as I sometimes am.  I’ve had to learn how to shut off my brain in those moments. It is also incredibly physically taxing and I’ve had to learn how to push through my mental barriers. 

But honestly, for me, the hardest part about swimming is the time commitment. As a high school student, I’ll often be swimming while my friends are hanging out together or doing “normal” teenage things. It can be a bit lonely and frustrating at times, but I just have to remember how much I love what I’m choosing to do instead.

Where’s your favorite place to swim?

My favorite place to swim is Hawaii because the water is so clear and magical. I had a really spiritual experience when I swam the Molokai Channel and I feel incredibly connected to those waters. They are just the most magical thing in the world to me. 

I also love to swim in Lake Tahoe because Tahoe itself is by far my favorite place in the world and those are my stomping grounds. My first big open water swims were all in Tahoe, and I continue to spend time training and swimming there each year.

What is your favorite See Her Swim swimsuit?

My favorite See Her Swim swim suit is The Breaststroke because it’s incredibly comfortable and I like how versatile the straps are. It’s fun to be able to decide how I want to wear it each time I put it on.

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