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Lady Vol Diaries - Jamie Saffer

We leave for the Southeastern Conference Championships in less than two days. Two days seems like forever to me. This meet is everything we have worked for this year. The 5:00 am workouts and the grueling two practices a day. This is it. Everyone looks forward to this meet, no matter what school you represent. It's the fastest conference in the country, and we're in it. 

I cannot tell you how many nights I have dreamed about this coming weekend.  Since day one it's all I've been thinking about. I just had this feeling at the beginning of the year that this was going to be the year- OUR year. We are not the so-called "underdogs" anymore; we are that team that people are afraid to swim. We bring so much to this sport, that no one can measure up to what we have accomplished and what we are going to accomplish in less than a week. This season has been the ideal season for me. I think that also goes for my entire team. We have overcome so many obstacles in just a few months. It's been quite a ride.

When you start a new year, you can expect the unexpected.  Last year was the complete opposite to the experience I have had this year. I have finally figured out what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. I have never been consistent in my training and this year I am proud to say that I haven't had a "bad day" or "just one of those days." Every day I complete each practice with satisfaction in knowing that I got better. I can feel it throughout my body- the complete changes I have made to become the swimmer I am today. Dropping a lot of time and overcoming time barriers this season has been a complete thrill.

This season has not been just physically better for me, it has been mentally better. I have not complained half as much as I did last year. I made it my goal last year to make myself different this year. I put my guard up as a freshman and I let the novelty of division I collegiate swimming intimidate me. This year, I took it by the horns and am showing it who is boss. Nothing intimidates me anymore. I give everything my all and I expect it from my teammates as well. I want nothing but the greatest for my team. 

Going from being a freshman to a sophomore has been such an eye opener. I can say one thing for sure; I know I wouldn't want to be a part of any other team. I have no doubts about our ability to be the best. We've shared blood, sweat and tears and there is nothing I would do to change anything this team or I have done. We all know our place and how we can be the best we can be. I am absolutely enamored with being a Lady Vol swimmer. I take absolute pride in what this team represents and what our identity is. 

All I can say now is that we are ready.



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