For most people, the first moment they fell in love was with a person. Perhaps their high school sweetheart or college boyfriend, but it was with a person. Not for me. I fell in love at a much younger age, and it wasn’t with a person, it was with you. You became a place of instant comfort, something so similar, yet so different. You were intriguing and mysterious. From the time I was a small 5 year old, you taught me grace, humility, and confidence. I didn’t learn to love you, I just fell in love with you. That love lead to years and years of dedication and commitment, and I would have never learnt those things if it wasn’t for you. You showed me kindness when I wasn’t kind back. You showed me forgiveness when I didn’t deserve it. You taught me what it means to work hard if you want something. I’ve felt a rainbow of emotions because of you. Nerves come before every race, no matter how many times I’ve swam at a meet. Hatred came during every practice when we did those grueling 400’s. And joy came every single day when I pulled out my swimsuit and goggles to get ready for practice. You gave me the most meaningful friends I will ever make. You gave me coaches that cared so much about me and knew me more than I knew myself. I thought that our time was up, I thought our time together was only memories, but because of everything you’ve showed me, I know our time is not up, and it might never be over. We still have years and years to come, and no matter what form that comes in, you will always be my first true love. But if the time does come time to hang up my racing suit for the last time, I want you to know that you will forever and always be a part of me. Thank you for making me the person I am today, and for all the memories we’ve made, are making, and will make.