For Rebekah Moody, it was a classic case of adding insult to injury.
The Evans High School senior started her athletic career as a gymnast, but had to give up that sport because of ankle problems.
So as an eight-grader, she decided to take up competitive swimming, and that's where the insult came in.
"I remember at my first practice I was like, 'There's no way I'm coming back,"' Moody said of her first foray with the Aiken-Augusta Swim League.
After that initial shock, Moody swore she'd never swim again.
Rebekah Moody signs a swimming scholarship with Wingate College as her parents, Cinda and Ron Moody (left) look on with Moody's classmates.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
As it turned out, Moody decided to stick with it, and the decision paid off last week when she signed a letter of intent to attend Wingate University on a swimming scholarship.
"I want to thank everyone, Mom and Dad, teachers and coaches, for making this possible. Thanks for all your help," she said at Wednesday's signing ceremony at Evans.
Moody was gracious with her praise, but she also deserves a pat of the back. When it was time to sink or swim, she stayed afloat and eventually earned a college scholarship.
"It comes from a lot of hard work," said Moody, who works out six days a week with the swim league. "College is a goal I've been working for. This makes all these miles of swimming and the hours of practice worthwhile."
There are certainly no regrets about switching sports. "I was OK at gymnastics. I'm a much better swimmer," she said.
Moody has been a mainstay for the Evans swim team for the past four seasons. With the strong swimming for the Lady Knights, along with her performance with the swim league, she drew interest from several college programs.
But when it came time to put pen to paper, Moody followed her heart and chose Wingate, a Division II college near Charlotte, N.C.
"It's a great academic school and they have a really good swim team - everything I'm looking for in a college," Moody said. "Wingate was the first school I visited, and I fell in love."
Moody competes in a number of events for Evans, but will specialize in the 100 and 200 Butterfly events at Wingate University.
"My goal this season at Evans is to just keep on improving and continue to push myself," Moody said. "Once I get to college I hope to be part of the team and help them reach their goals."
Moody plans to major in education at Wingate, and she says she's not intimidated about stepping up to the next level. She fully expects to have an impact for the Bulldogs.
"There's always room for improvement," she said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge."
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