Colby Love, center, 18, of Bethel Park, reads through a list of swimming drills stuck to a paddle board while standing alone, quietly, in a lane during practice, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at Bethel Park High School in Bethel Park. “Mentally it’s hard now, before it was a lot easier," says Love, describing what it feels like to be in the water, to swim competitively. "Because, it’s like there’s nothing. It's like just your thoughts, and for me it’s just hard to deal with it sometimes. Like on my bad days it’s like, my brain automatically goes to my negative thoughts instead of like, I don’t know, the random song that you’re singing in your head.” Love describes his anxiety and depression getting bad all at the same time, in the winter of his sophomore year of high school. After taking just over a year off of both school and swimming, at which time he sought metal and physical treatment for his depression and gender reassignment, Love returned to the pool to finish his senior year in the sport.

Colby Love, center, 18, of Bethel Park, reads through a list of swimming drills stuck to a paddle board while standing alone, quietly, in a lane during practice, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at Bethel Park High School in Bethel Park. “Mentally it’s hard now, before it was a lot easier,” says Love, describing what it feels like to be in the water, to swim competitively. “Because, it’s like there’s nothing. It’s like just your thoughts, and for me it’s just hard to deal with it sometimes. Like on my bad days it’s like, my brain automatically goes to my negative thoughts instead of like, I don’t know, the random song that you’re singing in your head.” Love describes his anxiety and depression getting bad all at the same time, in the winter of his sophomore year of high school. After taking just over a year off of both school and swimming, at which time he sought metal and physical treatment for his depression and gender reassignment, Love returned to the pool to finish his senior year in the sport.

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