Where is Jason?
As my dad travels throughout the United States, he often gets the question "Where is Jason?" People wonder where the young kid is who used to travel with Bob and was always looking for crawdads or fishing. I spent several years traveling with my Dad around the United States and was very fortunate to see and experience things most kids my age didn't even know about. My dad home schooled me until the 5th grade, so most of my young life was spent in a Ford van or exploring this country's rivers and lakes. After I started public school, I continued to travel with my father as he taught canoe classes and led river trips. I was able to meet many different people, some of them werer my dad's students or friends and now that I am no longer clambering out of my dad's van some people want to know what happend to me. After I started high school my travels with my Dad began to subside but did not stop, so I will start things from high school and give you a brief synopsis to get you caught up.
As I began my freshmen year of high school I made the decision to leave the sport of basketball behind and on a suggestion from my parents decided to try my hand at competitive swimming. So one day after an all night computer game playing marathon with one of my friends I walked into the Union High School Aquatic Center. I saw a pool full of kids doing laps and asked the coach about trying out. He asked me if I had ever swam before, and I told him that I had never done it competitively, but had been around water my whole life. He then told me that the assistant coach would put me in my own lane for a quick tryout. I followed the assistant coach and as we walked he asked me which stroke I would like to try out in. Not really knowing what to say I asked him if the "front crawl" would be okay, and he laughed and said that "freestyle" would be fine. He told me where the locker rooms were and to meet him near the empty lane after I had changed. I emerged from the locker room wearing a knee length pair of shorts with lots of pockets, and he again laughed and asked me if I was going to try out in them. Not having anything else I told him that I would. I asked him how long the tryout would last and he said that it would take under a minute one way or another. I was a little confused and I asked him what he wanted me to do. He directed me to the end of the lane and told me to jump in. I did then as I held onto the as he told me to swim to the other end of the pool and back as fast as I could. He gave me a countdown and then I began. I pushed off the wall and felt the familiar drag of pockets being filled with water, and as I began to swim I wondered how much of a difference goggles would really make. I arrived back at the far end of the lane to find that the assistant coach was no longer there. I looked around and then saw him and the head coach walking towards me. I had swam a time of 36.04 seconds in a 50 meter freestyle, not a great time for a 13 year old male swimmer, but for a kid who had never been on a swim team it was quite good. As I climbed out of the pool the head coach walked over to me and said Jason we would love to have you on the team". Since that day my life has never been the same.
I began my swimming career as a member of Miller Swim team, a was a USS team of about 25 swimmers. USS or United States Swimming is an organization designed for swimmers who need more than high school swimming. All the Olympic events are offered and in most states you will find the more elite swimmers regularly competing in USS meets rather than their high school dual meets. I began swimming with kids half my age and in the beginning they destroyed me in the pool, but slowly I got better. My sophomore year I made one Oklahoma Junior Olympic time cut and competed in the fall of that year. This meet exposed me to a whole new caliber of swimmers and I knew that I had a long way to go. My junior year I returned to the Junior Olympic meet with 5 cuts and even made finals in 2 events. However; my senior year of high school is when my swimming career really took off; I made 8 Junior Olympic time cuts and won the 500 Freestyle and 200 Butterfly. With my high school swimming career over it was time to look to the future, so with a major in mind and with hopes of a swimming scholarship I began to look for a college.
I have no idea how the coaches at West Virginia Wesleyan College heard about me, more less got my phone number, but after getting a very good scholarship offer and doing some research, I went to WV to take a look at the school. I was very impressed with the team and the school, and when I found out that they had an excellent computer science program I made my decision to attend. I am currently a Junior at WVWC and am proud to report that my team won the Blue Grass Mountain Conference for the first time in school history this year. I have continued to improve and still enjoy swimming very much. I am majoring in Computer Science and am pursuing a double minor in History and Business (I may end up with a Business major if all goes well). I have a very tight knit group of friends on the swim team and a girlfriend who I have been seeing for over a year. I maintain web sites for two organizations on campus as a work-study and recently (as you can see) have begun a web design business. You can find out more about this buisness at Web Design By Jason. I hope this helps fill you in on some of the years since the last time you saw me.
A late 2009 Update: