By Mckenzie Swanson
The first time I met 12 year old, Michelle McLeod, I could tell she had something very special about her. Attending St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, Michelle started diving at the age of nine years old. Ever since then, she has fallen in love with the sport and continues to work hard at improving each and every day.
With around 4 to 5 wins this year, Michelle has put in an extreme effort to help get her to the top of her age category. With two practices every Monday and Thursday, and one long practice each on Wednesday and Saturday, Michelle lives and breathes the sport of diving.
“Her coach is very into eating properly and getting enough sleep,” say Michelle’s mom, Leanne McLeod. “For example, they are going to Toronto for nationals in the first week of July and he wants her to start going to bed earlier to adjust to the two hour time difference, just simple things like that.”
Hoping to maybe go to the olympics for diving one day, Michelle does her best to stay focused and follow her coaches suggestions of eating clean and getting rest when needed to. However, it is not always easy and Michelle knows that, as she has dealt with many struggles when it comes to staying on track and not being able to win every competition she is entered in.
“It’s all a learning lesson,” says the young diver. “If it’s not your best competition, you just have to come back with more training and you’ll get more inspired to try to do better because last time you didn’t do as good as you know you can.”
I had a pleasure of talking to one of the most inspiring young girls I have ever met and I am rooting for her to go far with her diving career. I believe you can do anything you set your mind to…. And speaking of that, it’s time for me to grab my swimsuit and hit the pool for some laps. I may not be able to dive as good as Michelle, but she still inspired me to get in my daily exercise.
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