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I prefer swimming

Being a medical student can be stressful. In order to release stress and tension, some students play computer games, listen to music, watch movies, I prefer swimming. Swimming is not merely a sport or recreation, it possesses therapeutic properties for maintaining good health.

I have been swimming since childhood. When I first came to I.M.Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy (MMA) to study medicine, I have never thought of swimming. Later during first year, I came across a notice in the dean’s office stating that the academy had provided a variety of sports facilities, and students were encouraged to participate. I was thrilled when I found out that swimming is one of the sports available. Immediately I went to see our vice-dean to find out the details and the procedure for participating in swimming.

I was asked to go to the swimming pool in Luzhniki Big Sport Arena and to see Tamara Moiseevna, the lady in charge of MMA students for swimming. She helped students with registration procedures in the pool. Since then, I am allowed to swim as frequently as 3 times a week, if my academic schedule allows.

The swimming pool in Luzhniki Big Sport Arena is quite old, with its unique architecture, but it is still being maintained in good condition. Despite of cold weather, the pool is built in the open air. However, the pool water temperature is well controlled. Swimming in extremely cold weather is a very different experience for me and I really enjoy it. The pool is never empty, no matter in cold or warm weather. It is a very good environment for practicing swimming. In the pool, I swim with a lot of excellent swimmers. This is a very good exposure for me, as I learn from them. Together with regular training, my swimming strokes are improving.

Along the way, I have participated in a few swimming competitions. During my second year, we had a competition by time-trial and I was presented with a “Matryoshka” (Russian wooden doll) as a souvenir, for I was the fastest among the foreign students. In my third year (first semester), I participated in the swimming competition which was opened for all higher-educational students in Moscow. I was very excited as I had a chance to compete with other swimmers in Moscow. On the big day, hundreds of swimmers from higher institutions all over Moscow were gathered in one pool with a common goal – to win the competition.

There were many brilliant swimmers participating in that competition. Among them, I saw swim-caps which stated “Russia’s swimming team”. I knew that the odd for me to win a medal is nearly impossible, but I would do my best to compete with other competitors. In the end of the day, I did not win the event but I had improved my personal time records. For that, I was presented with another Russian souvenirs. In these competitions, I lost nothing, yet I gained valuable experiences. It gave me great satisfaction to be able to swim and to compete side by side with those excellent swimmers. Besides that, I met a few new friends in the competitions. These events certainly have enriched my personal experiences.

Swimming while studying medicine in MMA surely is an interesting chapter in my life. It is a mean of training for good physical and mental health. Besides that, it also helps me in practicing my interpersonal skill by meeting new people, interacting with the swimming pool stuff, the lady in-charge who is always helpful, and fellow swimmers in the pool. I believe taht this would help me to be an “all-rounder” student and later may lead me to be a successful, good doctor.

Prepared by,
3rd year medical student,
English medium, MMA.