Posted Online: Dec. 09, 2012, 10:50 pm
2012-13 Dispatch/Argus Girls' Swimmer of the Year: Rock Island's Kelly Bishop
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By Chris Steele, firstname.lastname@example.org
It becomes so easy for athletes to become entrenched in their own world, and lose track of what is tangible.
Rock Island's Kelly Bishop had lost sight of what was important in her struggle with anorexia and bulimia, fearing she would never swim again.However, Bishop put it best, saying, "Sometimes things have to fall apart for you to truly conquer them."
After missing five weeks in the pool dealing with her disorder, Bishop was able to do the unthinkable in her return.
Bishop won the 100-yard butterfly at the Rock Island Sectional, reaching an accomplishment she didn't think she would ever see again -- breaking a minute (59.62) in the event to qualify for state for a third season.
The 2012 Girls' Swimmer of the Year for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus talked about her defining season:
Where did that sectional performance come from?
"It was probably just the love of my team, and conquering what I conquered. It was a good race, but I don't think that was me as much as it was divine intervention. I think it was just right for me to prevail when I had put everything back together. I was racing for my team, my school and pride I had never felt before."
How has this changed your outlook on life?
"Instead of wanting to be the best at shallow things, I want to be the best person I can be. I want to be the best leader, and the best teammate. In the end, I realize that it's not really going to matter whether I went to state or what place I finished as long as I swam my best. I'm looking at being the best person that I can be, and that includes balance not just the extremes."
What was the reaction like when you came back to the team?
"When I came home, the team had completely decorating my bedroom with posters and streamers and balloons. I remember going to the pool and just sprinting on deck and throwing myself into the water in all of my clothes and hugging everyone. Everyone slowly surrounded me. It was probably the happiest day of my life. Looking back, that is what I'm going to remember from this season."
How important was it to have the support of people around you?
"When I would break down, my co-captin Maggie Pappas would tell me that I could do this, and they believed in me. I don't think that anyone else could have talked me out of my mindset, but she was able to and she kept me going."