Health & Wellness

Colorado Health & Wellness | Spring 2016

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Page 17 of 67

Did swimming always come first in the Franklin household? When I was growing up, I did swimming, basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, skiing, ice-skating, gymnastics and dance. I did everything. I'm so grateful for that, because it gave me so many different experiences. I tried it all, and swimming was what I really cared about, and with that attitude moving forward, it was easy for me, because when it got hard or when there were days that I didn't want to go to practice, it was easy to remind myself, like, you chose this. This is what brought you the most joy. But growing up, it was always school first and making sure that I always had my homework done. I'm so grateful for that, too. You chose to stay in Colorado for school and friends, which drew some criticism, is that right? Yeah. So I had been doing really well and breaking national age group records, and we started to have different parents and different coaches come up to us and say, 'What are you still doing here? Colorado is not a swimming state. Go to California. Go to Florida. Go to Texas." And my parents knew me, and they knew if I wasn't going to be happy, that that wasn't going to transfer well to the pool. So they said: "You know, her friends are here. We're here. This is her home. This is where she wants to be, and right now it's working. Why would we change when she's doing so well?" I think in my individual case, moving would have been really hard, because I think I would have started to resent swimming a little bit because of how much it would have made me give up if I did have to leave my friends, my school, my home. But, you know that's not the case for everyone. ONE-ON-ONE WITH Whether you are a rising teenage swimming star, a parent of a dedicated athlete, or simply someone in need of some positive words and inspiration, a recent interview with Colorado's own Olympic champion offers a little bit of something for everyone. Missy Franklin, who began begging her parents to let her join swim club at age 4 (swimmers had to be 5), says her success as an athlete has carried into all areas of her life. Edited for space. MISSY FRANKLIN FRANKLIN by Debra Melani | photos by Mike Lewis 16

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