Senior Abbey Glaser began swimming lessons when she was little in between dancing, cheer and golf seasons until her trainer told her she was ready for a team. She joined Aqua Force in 2012 at the YMCA in Plano, Illinois, and swam there for over seven years. Since then, she has swam in the Oswego Park District every summer. During her freshman and sophomore years at Oswego High School, she was a member of the swim team.

Despite wanting to persist in her swimming career into her junior year, Glaser’s family was planning to move to DeKalb, so she did not sign up for the next swim season.

“Our plans kinda fell through with the whole moving out there stuff, but it was too late to sign up for the next season,” Glaser explains. “I just took the year off.” 

Since she was unable to swim, she decided to focus on a new class she was taking at Oswego High School, Athletic Training and Sports Medicine.

 “I really loved it,” Glaser says. “I continued with it this year.”

During her year off, Glaser states what she missed more than anything was the push that swimming gave her. She missed the feeling she got after practice, when she knew how hard she worked.

 “Swimming pushes me so hard physically and mentally,” Glaser adds.

Glaser prepares to push off the board into the water. Image Credit: Abbey Glaser

Although Glaser assumed this was the end of her swimming career, a coach reached out to her at the end of August and was interested in her swimming at Illinois College, a private institution in Jacksonville, Illinois. 

“I haven’t really been in the pool and I was kinda done with the sport,” Glaser says. 

She was hesitant at first, but after the coach assured her they would work with her to get her back on track, she agreed. She is now trying to enjoy swimming and see how far she can push herself. 

Kim McGraw has been coaching Glaser for nearly nine years from the YMCA on the Aqua Force team. 

“She asks for a lot of feedback,” Coach McGraw comments. “She works really hard to implement and become the best swimmer she can.” 

McGraw added that Glaser has continued to show her dedication to the sport, and has pressed on through many challenges over the years. 

“She had a minor injury a few years ago, and she worked hard to get back to where she wanted to be and she has,” McGraw says.

Kayla Bonczkowski is Glaser’s teammate and friend who has been swimming with Glaser since they were 12. 

“Glaser’s one of the most headstrong swimmers I’ve ever met, she’s very dedicated to the sport,” Bonczkowsi says.

Bonczkowski goes on to describe Glaser further as a dedicated and friendly teammate. 

“She always brings a great feeling to the pool,” Bonczkowsi says.

Swimming has been a big part of Glaser’s life for years and has led her to who she is today. She touches on what swimming has shown her.

“[Swimming] has taught me a lot how to accept my failures,” Glaser says. “I’m the only person who’s going to be able to get me where I want to be.”

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