My name is Kareen, I am 19 years old and I study mechanical engineering at the American University of Beirut.

Ever since my childhood, I have been exposed to different kinds of sports, from group sports (basketball, volleyball…) to individual sports (ballet, gymnastics, athletics, ski, snowboard, swimming…). What I appreciate now about this exposure is that it made me get used to sports and learn how to fit them in my daily routine since I was young.

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But of course while growing up, I had to filter these activities and eliminate some of them progressively, until I had only one left: Swimming.

I started swimming once a week when I was around 4; that’s when I learned the basics and the techniques. At 15, I participated in my first Lebanese Swimming Championship, and surprisingly, I came in 3rd! So I decided to intensify my training and go from once or twice a week (1 hour each) to 3 times a week (1 ½ hour each). It was a blast!

Ever since, I made it my goal to participate every summer in the Lebanese Swimming Championship, as well as club competitions throughout the year; I usually come in 1st or 2nd place, which honestly makes me feel great about myself and gives me motivation to train harder in order to maintain and even improve my results.

Currently, I am part of the Varsity Swimming Team at AUB and I train 3 times a week. The team traveled to Serbia last year for a competition with international universities, and I was among the first 3 in the races I participated in! That was a real achievement for me!

I will not hide the fact that sometimes I hate training and I feel like giving up, especially during the winter. But most of the time, I look forward to practice, especially whenever I want to escape from the mechanical engineering world. Swimming and my studies became my 2 major focuses and I try hard not to compromise one for the other.

Needless to say, it is amazing to practice sports that you enjoy, not only does it allow you to take a break from your busy life, but it also lets you stay fit and in good shape all the time, which is always a big plus 🙂
I believe everyone of us should try to focus on at least one type of sports, without making it an obligation or even a career. Trust me, it’s a think-free escape and you will feel great!

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