Nothing comes easy. Part of being a swimmer is trying to manage my time between training, traveling, championships, studying and social life. At the beginning it was not easy, and I was affected by some negative peer pressure that I was able to overcome by other supportive peers.
I remember my early morning started during cold days, rainy days, during the week, with tests in the early hours of the mornings. Nothing could stop my 6:30 AM training. I even remember my 4 AM training in October 2011 when the Lebanese national team was preparing to participate in the Asian Championship; we had to train that early for a period of three weeks to get used to the time difference between Beirut and Jakarta. My mom would drive me all the way to Rimal everyday, and wait for me so that she could drive me back to school before the first period bell rung at 7:40 AM.
This year I am a Brevet student. Honestly, I was afraid of how things would work out with me during the year. I barely skipped a training session, and managed to participate in all international meets, and still kept my grades acceptably high. Everyone thought that this year would be the toughest and that I would not be able to manage. I am not saying it was easy, but still, I was able to manage. I have yet to see the outcome with my finals and official exams approaching.
Part of being a swimmer is trying to manage my time. One of the toughest things that came along with my swimming was to be able to balance sports and studies. I learned to live in a world of time management, goal setting, personal challenges and self-management. This sounded hard at first, but school, work and social life can be balanced if managed and planned beforehand.
I learned how to organize myself and to make a list of everything I had to do. One of the most important routines is my to-do-list. This helps me to be well prepared. I would prepare everything ahead of time for example, I would prepare my food the night before, as well as my clothes, and my training tools and swimming bag. I learned to recognize the importance of every extra minute. I would review my studies while swimming, and would eat and shower quickly. I study in the car or while waiting to be picked up.
As I said, nothing comes easy, but once you learn how to do it, nothing is hard.