“Take. Your. Mark…”
Deep breath. Focus. Cap is on. Goggles are tight. The adrenaline rush is released and every muscle is engaged as my heart pounds when I am called to step up to the block.
My mind closes out the noise of the crowd as I visualize my ideal win. I am ready to push off the block and race against the clock. I trained for this moment. It’s my time to prove I was made for this.
Competitive swimming is more than a sport – it’s my way of surviving the real world. As a visual designer, I understand that the art of taking both sport and design to a new level of perfection requires an open mind. From the starting block to the office, I compete with myself to go beyond boundaries, mentally and physically.
Gather. Analyze. Visualize. Deliver. Repeat.
Understanding the creative process enhances my ability to see the bigger picture. My next race will start from Alcatraz to San Francisco, and I must swim a mile in less than 45 minutes. It is easier said than done, but in reality, I have pushed myself in training for the last nine months, and I am closer than ever to competing.
The creative brief, and the outlines of the goals and objectives of a design project are no different to this swim. You can’t rush the process, and you need sufficient time to gather and analyze information to fully understand what tools you’ll need to succeed.
Whatever you want to achieve comes with either a short or long process. Either way, it’s critical to stay in the lane. I have learned to embrace my skills and to share my creativity with other designers, and together, we won’t give up on our vision of making the world a better place. We always arrive prepared, ready to work, and never take for granted what type of assignment we are given.
Race only against yourself
Every swimmer knows that missing a 5 am practice would be considered irresponsible.
The value of meeting deadlines is just as important as qualifying for a 100 Individual Medley national swim time at 1:10.79. Swimming influences my creative career to never give up, to work hard to improve my skills, and to perfect my techniques.
Design is not just about making something beautiful, but about having a deep understanding of a client’s need to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s hard work, but I love it. My mentality for delivering a strong performance continues not only inside the pool, but also outside of the water. I continue fine-tuning my designs and technical skills. Every second matters, so I stay calm, and I finish strong.