Imagine having to jump into a figuratively ice cold swimming pool at 5:30 in the morning when it’s literally ice cold outside. For swimmers such as Maggie Kramer, early morning swim practices are a dreaded but necessary part of the job.
Kramer, a junior from Glenview — a suburb of Chicago — is an Education and Spanish double major. She began swimming when she was nine years old. She had a best friend who swam who encouraged her to join the team.
“The summer that I started, I hated it,” said Kramer. “I didn’t understand the numbers, the strokes, the laps, any of that. So I got out of the pool and I was like, ‘Mom, I wanna quit.'”
Her mother told her that if she stuck with it she would get “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” and now, years later, Kramer is a distance swimmer for the Wittenberg Swim Team. She swims the 500 mile and the 200 breast stroke.
When not swimming, Kramer can be found found studying or hanging out with friends. She is in the dual liscensure education program so that she can teach early education and special education. She is double majoring in Spanish simply because she loves the language.
“I wanna do early education or special education, and Spanish is just a good background to have,” said Kramer. “There’s [sic] so many people that speak Spanish that, as a teacher, its a good tool to have in your back pocket.”
Kramer hopes to one day teach second grade.
“They’re old enough that you can give them a task, but young enough that they’re still at that cutesie age,” she said, laughing.
Kramer is also the vice president for Habitat for Humanity. They build on Saturdays, and she has been a part of the spring break trips, which she calls one of her favorite things at Witt.
However, swimming takes up a lot of her time. Tuesdays and Thursdays consist of early morning swim practices. At 5:30 a.m., they do one hour of lifting and one hour of swimming. And everyday, they have two hours of practice in the evenings, plus meets on the weekends.
Kramer said her least favorite parts of swimming are the early morning swim practices, saying how hard it is to jump in a cold pool that early, especially when it’s cold outside, too.
“When your hair freezes, you know it’s swim season,” Kramer joked.
Wittenberg’s first official swim meet is the Kenyan Relay this Saturday at Kenyan College.
Kramer also said that her favorite thing about swimming is the atmosphere and the friends she has made.
“I know this sounds so cliche and every team feels this way, but the swim team here takes you in and really makes you feel like you’re a part of the family,” said Kramer. “These are the people that you call if you absolutely need anything, and the ones who you want hang out with all the time.”