Initially, when I looked at the challenge for the week, I thought it would be an easy one. How hard can taking a selfie be? I’ve done it enough times on my phone to justify having a “selfie” album on there. But then I started thinking about the whole purpose of this challenge. It’s not simply to take a picture every week and call it quits. The entire purpose of this challenge is to learn and create and overall, well…. Challenge yourself.
So I began thinking. How can I tell a story with a single still image? What story do I even want to tell? I thought about my past and present. I figured the challenge is to take a self portrait so the story should be about me. I thought about what made me who I am, and played around with the idea of placing different things that made me who I am today. And then it hit me.
If you read My Story I was a swimmer for 17 years of my life. That was literally my identity, my entire being. When people asked me what I did, it was always “swimming”. A big part of moving from Chile to literally the other side of the world, was… “swimming”. Like most people in the sport, I breathed and lived “swimming”. That was, until I wasn’t any more. Almost 8 years ago now, I quit. While the right decision at the time, it left me feeling lost. Still to this day, in a world where I do triathlons, I am still the guy who is really good at swimming. I feel no need to do intensive swimming training like I do running and cycling, because I know that at any point I can go back to it with relative ease. This has led to me not swimming for a long time now, in fact, when I think about it at depth, I haven’t touched a swimming pool in close to 18 months now. And yet, I STILL consider myself as a swimmer. So that is where the inspiration for this picture came from. This is who I am, it is what I do. In my running gear, ready to go. This is who I should identify with, and yet, when I look in the mirror, I still see “That Swimmer Guy”.
I hope you all like the picture. It took me way too long to shoot it and way too long to edit it, and its still shoddy as fuck. But I am proud of the end result. If nothing else, because it helped me explore my identity in the world of sport. It tells a great part of my story in a single still image. And that’s what the challenge was all about in the end.
Till next time.
That Swimmer Guy.