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El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Time Out! Ep. 23: Anya Walia

Anya Walia provides insight on her swim and dive career
Anya Walia, third to the left, stands with the dive team. Photo courtesy of Anya Walia | Used with permission

AS: Hi everyone, my name is Arshiya Sen, I’m Arushi Singh and I’m Trisha Sannappanavar, welcome to Episode 23 of Time Out! In this series, we explore the Monta Vista High School sports scene to learn more about the journeys of our very own athletes from various sports. Today, we are joined by junior Anya Walia, who speaks on her transition between swimming and diving and how she’s grown from it. So, let’s DIVE right in! 

EE: When did you begin swimming?

AW: I learned how to swim when I was six years old, and then I did competitive [swimming] for a few years and then last year, I hurt my shoulders really bad, so I can’t really swim anymore, so I joined dive because of that.

EE: Why did you start to swim?

AW: My mom thought it was a good life skill and also I was better at it than my sibling. So I was like maybe I should do something with it.

EE: Why did you decide after your injury to pursue dive?

AW: Well, to be honest, I needed the credit. And my friend, Ananya, she does dive. And so she was the one who said that I should join. It’s really chill and I thought that dive would be kind of similar. It was not, but it was still really fun and I enjoyed it. It was low stakes and we did competitions and everything, it wasn’t that much pressure.

EE: Can you share a memorable moment or an achievement in your either swim or dive career?

AW: I got third in leagues this year for dive. I was really impressed with myself because I only started this year and then I also hurt my shoulder again this year. So I was out for three weeks and then I just came and competed. And I think third place is pretty good for that. 

EE: You describe challenges with your shoulder through swim and dive, how are you able to overcome those challenges and persevere?

AW: I think the first time that happened, I was a freshman and I thought, “Oh my god,” I’m never going be able to do anything ever again and it was pretty bad. But then I was out the second half of the season, so I missed a lot. And then I tried again, sophomore year and the same thing happened and it started to become such a mental block because I can’t do anything. Then I started thinking, “What am I going to do?” But then with dive it happened again [I thought] “What am I gonna do,” and then I think just resting and healing helped me overcome it, and getting over that mental block was really important.

EE: As you mentioned a large part of dive is the mental game, so how do you stay motivated?

AW: For dive, I really love my coach. He’s been my greatest supporter of dive and he just encourages everyone on the dive team to just do our best and show up every day. And I think that took a lot of the pressure off, because with swim it was different. It was intense, intense, intense, all the time and there was so much competition between everyone. But then with dive, it was more of a community and that really helps with staying motivated. 

EE: What advice would you give to aspiring swimmers or divers? 

AW: Just join dive. Everyone should join dive as I think it’s so important because it helps you get over a lot of your fears like doing flips off the board is not something I thought I would ever do. And I did it this year and I feel like I can do more because I learned how to get over that for myself.

EE: How do you balance [diving] with other commitments? 

AW: Yeah, so it was two hours every day which is kind of intense. But then with dive, it was still two hours but it felt a lot more low stakes. So I didn’t feel as exhausted when I got home from practice. And so I felt I was able to devote more of my time to school. 

EE: How important is teamwork in a seemingly individual sport like dive? 

AW: I think teamwork is really important because it’s where you get your motivation from. So when you’re swimming the people cheering at you from the end of the lane. And then in dive, it’s even more because when we’re waiting to go up and dive we’re all sitting in this hot tub together, and so in that way we all became friends in a way and I think that’s so important because it also helps you get rid of that mental block because you see all these other people doing the same thing and you’re thinking “if they can do it, so can I.”

EE: What are your future, maybe goals in swimming, this something you want to do in college or something you want to continue later on? 

AW: I think because of my shoulder, I don’t think I can do anything past just high school, pretty low stakes level. But it would be nice. I think it’s more of a hobby than a goal.

EE: Do you have any special rituals or traditions you do before a dive meet?

AW: I have my lucky shark necklace because I’m trying to go into marine bio. So there’s connections there. 

EE: That’s it for Episode 23 of Time Out! Thank you so much Anya for talking with us! I’m Trisha, I’m Arushi and I’m Arshiya and thanks for tuning in!

About the Contributors
Arushi Singh
Arushi Singh, Staff Writer
Arushi Singh is currently a junior and is a staff writer for El Estoque. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, playing the piano, and dancing.
Arshiya Sen
Arshiya Sen, Staff Writer
Arshiya is currently a junior and staff writer at El Estoque. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching movies with her friends, and baking with her brother.  
Trisha Sannappanavar
Trisha Sannappanavar, Staff Writer
Trisha is currently a junior and a staff writer for El Estoque. In her free time, she enjoys reading, listening to music, drawing and watching movies 
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