An Essay On Eating Disorders For Coaches and Swimmers

An Essay On Eating Disorders For Coaches and Swimmers

When I was about 14 years old, my coach pulled me aside after practice one day and asked me and my mom to meet with him later that week. He wanted to discuss something important pertaining to my swimming career. Whenever Coach asked this of one of his swimmers, we knew something was about to go down. He’d meet with a swimmer at the far end of the pool bleachers and all the teammates leaving the locker rooms after practice would walk past with curiosity. We all knew the feeling of being in that spot; it was shameful.

When Coach planned this meeting with my mom and I, it was nerve wracking. I wondered if I was in trouble for talking too much at practice, or maybe I missed too many practices and he wanted to motivate me to refocus my goals. In the few days leading up to the scheduled meeting day, I mulled over the possibilities and hoped it was about something positive.

My mom and I met with him after practice in the usual shame spot—the far end of the bleachers. I can remember what he said vividly because of the impact it had on me in my first year of high school.

“So Kelsey, you don’t have the body you used to anymore, and you’re getting your ‘woman body,’” Coach said.

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