My love for swimming started when I was only seven years old. Towards the end of my first year attending Harmony Hills Elementary School, I took home a flyer for the summer league swim team and my dad agreed that it would be a perfect idea for my brother, Danny, and I to join the swim team. Given my grand height of 5 feet and 1 inch, most sports that required height were out of my league, but thankfully that wasn’t the case for swimming. Although I joined the sport with no prior experience, my ability to learn the strokes and technical skills led me to participate in the championship meet my very first season! And that’s when I realized this was the sport I was going to commit to.
By the time I reached high school, I was ready to race on a level amongst many other great competitors. The four years I spent on Churchill High School’s swim team were unforgettable, especially because I made so many friendships and reached new heights in my athletic career. I was a part of the District Team for three years and Regional Team for two years, but my proudest achievement was being a team captain for two consecutive years. Being a leader amongst my peers was a very humbling experience that taught me so much, and I’m grateful that all that I learned has carried with me through the years. When high school came to a close and I received my acceptance letter to UTSA, I decided it was time for me to hang up the goggles and take a break from my athletic career as a competitive swimmer after 12 years (not to say that I won’t ever pick them up again to compete).
Although I wasn’t swimming for UTSA, I still had a desire to continue my love for the sport while working to attain my accounting degree. I figured there was no reason why I couldn’t let the two intertwine during my time in college, and I’m so glad I followed through with that. That summer, I decided to go back to where it all began and I accepted my first job as a swim coach for the Harmony Hills Cabana Club Dolphins. Working with the other two coaches and receiving great mentoring from Danny, the head coach, really helped me further develop my leadership skills and train other swimmers. For the next four summers, we were able to achieve 3 overall division championships and won numerous age group divisions. Coaching alongside Danny was such an unbelievable experience and I couldn’t be more appreciative of all of the advice and mentoring I received.
Transitioning from a competitive swimmer to a coach really shaped me to be who I am today. The leadership and time management skills I learned as a coach really helped me succeed at the start of my accounting career with ATKG. And lucky for me, this group of people is all about teamwork, collaboration, and team building, too! I accepted an internship, and later a full time-offer, with ATKG last summer and I’ve never looked back. I am so appreciative of the great people I work with and the tasks I am assigned to. While my passion for swimming and coaching isn’t part of my everyday duties at work, I’m glad that I can still apply all that I’ve acquired to my experiences as an accountant at ATKG. I look forward to my future with ATKG and can’t wait to see where my accounting career takes me from here!
Kristina Gonzalez, Staff