Puerto Rico, ¿Por Favor?

Ah, spring semester. The sudden influx of eager, excited students back on campus, the sweet reunion of briefly separated pals, the even sweeter reunion of students and the dining halls, and the rediscovery of one’s appreciation for that glorious Claremont sunshine. Oh, wait, that happened on January 1 for me.

Several athletic teams stay on campus for a large part of the holiday break for winter training, including my own swim and dive team. Oftentimes when I tell non-athletes about my 10-day break at home due to my commitment to the team, they stare at me aghast and pitying. But I was absolutely ecstatic to get back onto campus. Here’s why:

1. The people (they’re the BEST, as I’ve likely noted several times)

2. The training (I’m an exercise junkie and workaholic on occasion)

3. Winter in Southern California (which granted wasn’t particularly warm at first, but the weather quickly improved)

4. Puerto Rico


Pomona-Pitzer Athletics has initiated a new era for PPSD, one in which every four years we get a training trip far away to magical, mystical lands like San Juan, Puerto Rico! I had been looking forward to this excursion for quite some time, and it was indubitably magical.

Swimming around in non-chlorinated water off the Puerto Rican coast

We still had training every day, often twice, but the revitalizing air of this U.S. territory awoke our sense of adventure and I feel our group really took advantage of this incredible experience. We spent hours on a beach that looked like it came straight out of an elaborate advertisement for exotic vacations. It also just so happened to be right across the street from our hotel. Occasionally we ventured beyond the sand and water combination, like when we roamed Old San Juan and kayaked through iguana-filled mangroves to get to a bioluminescent bay. It’s still difficult for me to garner enough appreciation for and even just fathom the amazing opportunity we were given. I do not believe it is something I, or anyone else on the team, will ever forget.

The women’s team after some friendly competition with another college group

Besides the training trip being such an incredible experience to me, it made me realize my latent desire for adventure beyond U.S. borders. Therefore, in the next couple weeks I will be hiding away in my dorm researching, asking around, and bouncing back and forth choosing between Pomona’s many study abroad programs.

Old San Juan, how you inspired me!
Old San Juan, how you inspired me!

Wish me luck!