A pool full of obstacles

Jackson Shellogg surpasses obstacles to achieve goals


Kaitlyn Rodgers

Senior Jackson Shellogg cheers on his teammate at a swim meet in Dallas, Texas. Shellogg strives for excellence while overcoming his dyslexic disability.

Story by Logan Diggs, staff writer

Jackson Shellogg stands behind the block at the state meet in Dallas, Texas, cleaning his goggles and preparing to race his opponents. When the final whistle is blown and all of the swimmers are told to get up, Jackson panics. He looks left and right and realizes one thing— he forgot to take his medicine.

Shellogg is a four-year member of the Texas High TigerSharks. Throughout high school, Shellogg has been challenged in many different ways both mentally and physically. Therefore, to compete in school and swim, Shellogg has been forced to adapt to his disability and approach his goals from a different angle.

Jackson was born with dyslexia but has never let this obstacle stop him as he has made three state appearances in swim and multiple college scholarships. Last year, he was the only one on the swim team to qualify in an individual event for the 5A state meet. He’s planning on competing in college and is also confident in his academic ability.  

“I strive to make the best grades I can, hopefully A’s and B’s,” Shellogg said. “However, sometimes even [with] trying my best, I still end up with some C’s, but I still always try to push myself to be the best I can possible be.”

Jackson has been swimming club since middle school and has adapted to maintaining dyslexia, swim and school. In fact, Shellogg sees his disability to be a blessing in disguise.

I know how hard I work to accomplish my goals, so I’ll never let my ‘limitations’ hold me back.

— Jackson Shellogg

“I honestly think it’s made me faster because I have to work harder to beat my competition,”  Shellogg said. “I also have to work and study harder than most to accomplish my personal goals.”

Over the years, Shellogg has dealt with people talking down to him or making fun of his reading and writing. Despite this, Shellogg refuses to feel self-pity.

“No, I don’t think of myself as anything less than my competition,” Shellogg said. “I know how hard I work to accomplish my goals, so I’ll never let my ‘limitations’ hold me back.”

Shellogg’s main goal in swim is to break the 100-yard freestyle record set by Matt Cox.

“So far, my greatest accomplishment was making B finals for swim at state last year. That’s when it all clicked for me that my team and I can not only compete, but place at state,” Shellogg said. “Now, [at] the end of my high school swim career looking back, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far. I can’t wait to see how we end up this year especially since I think we can places this go around.”

Shellogg, recently competing at the 4A District meet, has already set forth on the beginning of the end of his swim career. With time floating away and not much room for error left, Shellogg has found joy in taking his time to sit back and smell the roses on the journey back to state.

“It didn’t really hit me till after the fact, but thinking about it now, it’s crazy how four years have honestly flew by,” Shellogg said. “I remember my freshman year like it was yesterday. Do I miss it? Of course not, but it has humbled me and made me realize that if I don’t get that record, or If I don’t swim as fast as I hope to, I will have made peace with my accomplishments over the years.”

Overall, Shellogg feels content with his high school swim career.

“So far, it’s been a wild ride with a lot of twists and unexpected turns, but it’s been fun and I’ve made memories I’m sure I will never forget, Shellogg said. “It’s been hard keeping up with my classmates in school and swim, but I did, and if I can anyone else could too.”