I've been swimming for nearly 22 years. It was something I was bad at originally - I feigned illness in 4th grade to get out of swim class. Kids laughed at me because I was afraid of the water. That was a year when kids laughed at me for all sorts of reasons. So in 5th grade I joined (was compelled to join by wise parents) a swim team. By 6th grade I was the best in the class. In 7th grade I was the only one in the class to earn a varsity letter in any sport. In 12th grade I was undefeated in my premiere event. So it became tightly bound up with my pride.
It still brings out the best parts of me. I couldn't really live without it.