Amid the chaotic hallways and bustling students is freshman Maggie Hier. Despite being the youngest in her family and at the bottom of the high school hierarchy, grade-wise, she exudes a calm confidence and exhibits great potential. All this and more stems from her ability to stay in tune with her emotions with the help of her encouraging mantra.
“I always tell myself that it’s all okay, saying ‘you’ll be able to get through it,’ or ‘you only have to do this and then you’re done,’” Maggie said. “I always tell myself to calm down, and then I’ll be okay. I tell myself that’s [whatever mistake I made] was just one thing and that I will be fine.”
Although mistakes may be inevitable, she is thoroughly prepared to overcome them and work harder to become a better athlete and student. Her progressive mindset has taken her far in life, especially in high school and club swim, and as the years have gone by, the more she has realized the power of self-assurance.
“I was probably eleven or twelve years old, and there’s was this one race when I was a lot younger where I was supposed to get last in everything,” Maggie said. “But I went in with confidence and said, ‘I’m going to do this.’ Then I got first, and everyone was cheering.”
By conquering the mental difficulty involved with swimming, Maggie is set to succeed in her season, as she already has this year with decreasing times and by consistently beating her season bests.
“There’s a lot of “mind [work]” with it,” Maggie said. “Sometimes, I get really nervous before races, overthink it too much, or think that I can’t do it. The mental part of it I’ve had to overcome. If I realize that in swim, just knowing that I could do it helped.”
Although Maggie could not imagine life now without it, there was a time when she was not involved in swim. Because of her siblings’ involvement though, it soon became embedded in her life, simultaneously deepening her relationship with her siblings, when she began swimming for the YMCA’s Rays team and at Watermark.
“Seeing how well [both my brother and sister] have done has kind of inspired me,” Maggie said. “If I do bad in something, they’re always there, and they cheer me back up. If I’m stuck on something, they’ll help me through it. They’re very supportive of everything, and they always make sure I’m okay.”
By seeing her siblings’ successes in swimming, Maggie learned a lot about the sport and gained some vital insight and motivation. Aside from personal achievement, however, there is much that the swim and dive team has to offer her, by way of community and close friendships.
“I really love the team part of it,” Maggie said. “We’re all really close and spend a lot of time with each other. I don’t really like how hard it is sometimes or the early morning practice
Dissimilarly to other sports, the swim and dive team spends several hours before and after school in the pool and in the weight room to prepare the swimmers for the grueling meets. Aside from those difficulties inherent to swim, Maggie has high hopes for the rest of the season, leaning on her excitement, work ethic, and teammates to help her succeed.
“On the swim team, I’m hoping to get my state cut, and I’m really excited to see if I can [race well at] the conference meet,” Maggie said. “I’m just excited to see how my freshman year is going to go. I’ve gotten a lot of best times, and it’s cool to see that now that I’m practicing more, I’ve gotten better with faster times and stuff.”
In all that she does, Maggie rejoices in her wins and all she achieves; but for her, her happiness is of the utmost importance, which possible is the key to her success.
“If you’re not happy, you’ll feel like your life is boring,” Maggie said. “I feel like happiness is more important than having [this idyllic lifestyle] because you should do what you love and be happy with what you do.”