Paralympian Haven Shepherd Has a Story That You Need to Hear
Haven has been drinking up everything life has to offer since she was a “pretty feisty” kid, growing up with two older brothers and four sisters she likens to “four extra mamas, basically.”
Already proficient in the pool by age 3 (“That was just always something that was really important to my dad because we had a pool in our backyard and he didn’t want his babies running around not knowing how to swim”), she started out in track before mom Shelly decided to enroll her in a swim clinic.
“She was like, ‘It’s summer. You need to cool off,'” Haven recalled. “And they said I was actually really good and I got on a YMCA team. I was there for three months and then I got really good and then I went to a USA Swim Club where I swam all year round.”
Though she was initially hesitant at diving into such an intense program as a tween—”I was thinking, ‘You’re going to take me away from these friends and swimming three days a week?’ And, ‘Mom, you’re going to drive me over here for six days a week and doubles?’ I mean, it was a big commitment for my family”—now, she said, “I’m very thankful that they made that choice.”