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January 28,2010 

Hey, 

As most of you may know, My name is Joseph Ordaz-Hoang and I'm Alumni 

from the class of 2009. Currently, I am spending this year in Sweden, where 

I spend most of my time attending school and staying active. 

To me, swimming meant the opportunity to learn a new meaning to discipline, 

physical pain, and endurance. As you swim, you will learn to push yourself to 

a point where you can no longer take the pain. Once reaching this point, try and 

I mean try to keep pushing yourself. In the beginning of the season and during 

the practices in the future to come, all you want to do is stop on the wall and 

stop, but if you keep going at the end of the day/season you will be glad to say, 

"It's been a good season." Make sure to pay attention to detail, swimming is a 

technical sport where your breathing, hand placement, turns, kicks, and pace 

are all critical and will assist you in swimming faster and smarter. As a 

person, swimming made me become more disciplined and constantly wanting to 

better myself, whether in the water, a different sport, and even in the classroom. 

Though swimming may look easy, for recreational purposes it maybe, but for 

competitive purposes you better work for what you want. Swimming helps you to 

get a feel of getting what you want by working for it, and though you may not 

be hitting someone, you will feel pain if you work hard enough. 

Joseph Ordaz-Hoang 

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Dear Fellow Swimmers,              

  

    Throughout my whole life I always remember knowing how to swim. I'm sure 

I had lessons, but I always remember being comfortable and at home in the 

water. However, when I started high school I decided that it was time to take 

swimming to the next level; a higher, more competitive level. I first began 

swimming for my high school team, and eventually moved on to join a club team. 

As many of you know, swimming has a tendency to consume your life-which it 

did. The four years flew by and, before I knew it, I was done.   

    Swimming has allowed me many wonderful and amazing opportunities in my 

life. If it weren't for this experience, I don't think I would have even half of the 

friends I know today. The people that I have met through the sport have 

changed my life and made me a better person. It's amazing the friendships that 

you can create and sustain when you're working towards similar goals; when you 

mutually understand the swimmers way of life.   

    Swimming has also made me much better at being organized and efficient. 

While swimming in high school I was also part of other activities in addition to 

my schoolwork. As a result, I had to learn how to balance all of the demands. 

Having better time management is something that I took with me into my college 

career and am now using in my work life. It is a valuable tool that I otherwise 

maybe wouldn't have learned until much later in life.  

    Through the sport of swimming, you learn at an early age the importance of 

setting goals for yourself and pushing the limits to achieve those goals. No 

feeling in life can quite compare to that of accomplishing your goals. Once 

you've reached your goals, don't forget to set new ones; the most accomplished 

and inspiring people are those that continue to set and strive for new heights.  

    I owe many life-changing experiences to the sport of swimming. As they 

commonly say "from the outside looking in, it makes no sense..." but to a 

swimmer it makes perfect sense. The beauty of swimming is that it is team 

oriented and at the same time it is very much an individual sport. I may not 

have been the fastest on the team, but I was still voted Team Captain. I may 

not have made CCS, but I was able to swim at every meet (how many other 

sports can you say that about?). I may not have swam in college, but the 

experiences of my short swimming career are something that have shaped me and 

allowed me to be the person that I am today. Swimming is a sport, but it's so 

much more.   

  

“Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place 

in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of 

ourselves. It has nothing to do with how many times you win or lose. It has no 

relation to where you finish in a race or whether you break world records. But it 

does have everything to do with having the vision to dream, the courage to recover 

from adversity and the determination never to be shifted from your goals”- 

Kieren Perkins [AUS]  

  

Love and best wishes,  

  Kristen Henry 

********************************************************* 

  

  Dear swimmers and swimmers to come, 

Growing up swimming meant everything to me. My life was scheduled around 

practice, and my weekends were scheduled around meets, this may seem like 

a bit much but I couldn't have had a happier childhood. I met and grew up 

with wonderful people who where there through thick and thin. I wouldn't 

be the same person I am today if it wasn't for swimming, that may sound

silly to some, but swimming teaches you life values, such as integrity, 

discipline, and drive. I can thank swimming for turning me from a little 

chunky kid into a fit person. Swimming can be tough, and there will come a 

time when you plateau out, but thats when you have to work your hardest. 

So all you out there keep up the hard work. 

Henry Vega III

 

**************************

Emir Yilmaz of Turkey sent this letter to the team:
Say hi to everyone! Miss you guys.

Hi everybody,

As you might know I was in Monterey, California for my senior year
of high school in 2009. And I was able to swim for Monterey County
Aquatic Team which was the best year of my swimming career, ever!
Many thanks to Coach Dia and other coaches that trained me. I also send
much thanks to my awesome swim-mates!

As we all know, swimming takes a lot time from person's social and
educational time. You really have to sacrifice a lot. Swimming is not
kind of a sport that you can quit for a week and then come back to
instantly with 100% performance. You have to keep yourself physically
and mentally in shape, which is not very often the case in other sports.
I know it from my experience. I played basketball for a year in my
sophomore year of high school. I would just go to practices once in a
while and still would be able to make the shots. For swimming it’s
completely different. Even missing one day of practice would
affect you in a really really bad way. So don’t!

Well, I don’t know where to start about the good sides of swimming. But,
probably the best part of the sport is the friendships that you make.
You get to meet tons of different people during meets that you go to.
Or you just get to meet with your awesome coach like Dia. You learn a
lot from others and believe me the more people you get to know,
the more you know about life…

Swimming also teaches you how to schedule your time. It makes you to
take on more personal responsibility. You learn to be the one who is in
charge of yourself most of the time. It does not matter how old you are,
you will feel like you are more mature than your friends.
(Well it might depend on the person but most of the time it’s like this).
Which would lead you to handle your life in a better way. And it would
allow you to make much more wiser decisions.
That’s all from me.
I hope you all keep up with the good work and make us proud!

Go MCAT!
Emir YILMAZ.