Helen Senchev learned how to swim at age three. It wasn’t until she was nine years old, however, that she actually took classes to swim competitively in San Ramon, where she was part of the San Ramon Valley Aquatics.
“Getting up at 4:30am to swim is tough, but I would remember how it would probably make me a better swimmer and I’d just get up,” said Senchev.
During swim practices, the team swims for roughly 4,800-6,000 yards a day. Senchev typically competes in different events, depending on whether it’s a high school or club competition. Her usual events are the 200 and 100 back for high school events, with times 2 minutes 7 seconds and 59 seconds respectively.
One of her best times was during the 500 free relay swim that she completed in 5 minute and 9 second, which she swum at one of her club events.
“I love my team! I’ve swam with my teammates for years and we’ve all seen each other at our best and our worst,” stated Senchev.
The swim team is either constantly swimming with fast intervals, or endurance-based exercises. Although it seems very tiring, it provides a lot of drive to push past physical and mental capabilities.
“Swimming is tough because I swim 9 times a week. Balancing practice, school and life is hard,” Senchev said.
Senchev enjoys swimming because it shows that hard work pays off.