The Paralympian Haven Shepherd has a story that you need to hear

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Haven has been drinking up everything life has to offer since she was a “pretty feisty”She grew up with her two older brothers and four younger sisters. “four extra mamas, basically.” 

By age 3, already proficient in the pool (“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.”