Ethan Spencer Interview by Diamond Farmer Nomination & Photography by Jessica Robertson Photographic Artistry Virginia Issue 15
The nomination: The alarm goes off every day many hours before the sun comes up to wake Ethan for his morning swim practice. He swims for hours before he even goes to school each day. Sacrifice is the word that comes to mind when we talk with Ethan about his dedication to competitive swimming. Not only does he maintain his grades, his friendships and excels at his sport, he makes the choice to forgo lots of fun socializing in order to make it happen as he has to go to bed early every night to be ready to dive in the next day.
When did you start swimming? A friend invited me to join the summer swim team when I was 9 years old and I loved it so much that I have been swimming ever since. So much, that 2 years ago I began swimming year-round for NOVA of Virginia and am looking forward to continuing my swimming career at the collegiate level.
How does your sleep schedule work around swim practice? Since I practice every morning at 4:45am and live a good half hour away, I wake up at 3:40am in order to eat and get there on time. I go to sleep at 7:30pm during the week in order to maintain a good sleep schedule.
Do you have any other hobbies or activities besides from swimming? I am a very competitive fantasy football player and huge sports fan (pro and college). I enjoy hanging out with my friends most weekends when I don't have a swim meet, and hiking and taking eye opening pictures of nature. In the summer I work as a lifeguard at the YMCA.
What have you had to sacrifice to excel at swim and school, and does it stress you out? Daily I have to sacrifice my time, which results in me having to be rigorous in keeping up with school work to maintain my 4.2 GPA. I try to do my homework immediately and avoid procrastination at all costs. I also have had to give up various aspects of my social life that a typical high school kid might have. No, it doesn’t stress me out - I have faith in maintaining my schedule and if I do everything when it is supposed to be done it will all work out.
Ethan was featured in Issue 15 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.