Hello, I am Natasha Meshkovska and I will tell you about my life and how I became a swimmer and a coach.
Early in my childhood, when I was about four years old I realized that I loved water. I fell in love with any shape of water, everywhere, in a tub, river, lake, sea and swimming pool. Maybe this love for the water was connected to my horoscope sign, Aquarius, but most of all is connected to my most important feeling: freedom.
The water gives me eternity, balance and happiness. There is a saying: “Get in the water to clear your mind.” I started to clear my mind when I was eight. My parents signed me up for swimming because I was a hyperactive child. Truly, swimming helped me to calm down but it matured me too.
At fourteen I became Champion of Yugoslavia and that is when the experts in swimming discovered my talent and took me under their wing. Soon after I was getting more and more successful; first domestically, then on the Balkans and eventually on international levels. Swimming is an individual sport and the fight becomes with oneself. One has to be psychologically strong in order for the body to handle the physical pressure and the endurance of the discipline. Swimmers aren’t ordinary people, they get up at 4 am to get in the water at 5am for the first practice and then at 5pm for the second practice of the day. And that’s how life is every day, and on the weekends and on the holidays for many long years. In any sport one succeeds as much as one sacrifices. In swimming one does everything alone, one cannot get connections, cannot cheat or lie, the result is clear and it is done at a competition. At the competition a swimmer is completely alone, and how much one worked and practiced that’s how much one would get back.
Now, when I think about myself I ask myself where was I getting that motivation, that wish for proving myself , I think that only fanatics can be that dedicated. I think that one has to always have a bigger wish and has to be more passionate than others to become the best. And that is really true. The feeling of winning I cannot explain with words, but that is exactly what takes one to new winnings and more successes. I got to the Olympics, not once, but twice in my swimming career. Going to the Olympics is every athlete’s dream. It is the height of an achievement. The Olympics is where the best athletes in the world meet. Being in the Olympics made me realize that I was part of a very special event that made me so proud and that stayed with me forever. To be an Olympian is a unique and the most positive label, especially for the people from small countries like, me from Macedonia. My biggest wish was for me to be in the top ten of the world and it came true. Hard work, dedication, sacrifice, passion and of course some craziness in me that led me to all the challenges, ups and downs for years. At one point of life I realized that the water is my environment. That year I decide to swim the Ohrid Lake’s marathon of thirty kilometers. I spent hours and hours in the lake alone, swimming towards eternity. While training in the lake I realized that very often I like it better among fish than among people.
Today I know that any sport is a difficult physical work but sports teach us the most important values and those are : discipline, self-confidence, self-respect and fair play. We are also taught how to handle the losses and how to stay down to earth after the victories. The sports also teach us to be able to shake the hands of the opponents, teach us to be fighters, to be patient and brave in order to reach our goals