The Life of Ryan
I don’t actually remember my first swimming lesson, but mum tells me I was a bit of a handful. While my older sister Chloe eagerly jumped into the water, I sat on the side having a whinge because I was too scared. Eventually, bribed with a blue power ranger, I got into the pool. Naturally, I hated it. I struggled with my asthma, was allergic to the chlorine and managed to develop swimmers ear... mum thought we’d give it a rest after that.
Just after my 5th birthday, we moved into a house on the water at the Central Coast. For obvious reasons, learn to swim was incorporated into the school’s curriculum. After a week of being in the water every day, surrounded by my friends, I decided swimming wasn’t so bad after all.
At age 7, tempted by a purple ‘Gosford Stingrays’ tracksuit, I was keen as beans to start club swimming. I distinctly remember returning home from my first meet empty handed while my sister taunted me with a massive trophy she had won. I decided out loud, then and there “I’m gonna make sure I always win”.
To cut a long story short, with the help of an extremely supportive family, some very loyal friends and a number of inspiring coaches I have been able to progress from complete incompetence to where I am now. Swimming for Australia has been such a great opportunity; It has taken me to a diversity of destinations around the globe; introduced me to some truly incredible people; given me numerous memorable experiences and most importantly enabled me to develop my physical and mental strength to achieve more than I thought was possible.
Although waking up at 5am will never get any easier, I secretly get a kick out of training till I vomit and waking up the next day in pain because I know I have pushed myself beyond my limits. Over the years I have learnt that if you want to exceed your expectations in the racing pool, you must also exceed them in the training pool. Success comes with hard work.