By: Robyn Welsh
Kaitlyn Bouchard, 17, has been swimming competitively since she was 7 years old. After moving from Waterdown, Ontario to Okotoks, Alberta, her parents decided to sign her up for lessons because it seemed like a fitting choice for her.
After a few years, Bouchard began swimming competitively. She began swimming freestyle initially, but fell in love with backstroke as time went on. Bouchard described the feeling of being in a race as, “exhilarating,” and found that swimming continually boosted her self-confidence and self-esteem.
Bouchard swam at the provincial level for years and made it to the national level in her final year of swimming. She loved seeing like-minded swimmers around her with similar goals and training schedules. These were only a few things that bonded Bouchard with other swimmers. When she joined her swim team, she had no idea that her teammates would become like a second family to her and that she would end up traveling the country with them.
Inevitably, Bouchard sometimes felt a lack of confidence in her swimming ability. She said she felt like she, “should be doing more, or should be practicing something better. And I mostly overcame that just by determining myself that I needed to do it and that it was best for me and best for my swimming.”
Since Bouchard is now a lifeguard and swim teacher at her local pool. She loves seeing the children she teaches grow and succeed. To her, one of the most rewarding feelings is being able to give a child the chance to gain confidence both in and out of the water.