Raising the bar

Sophomore attempts to step out of siblings’ shadow


Photo by Kaitlyn Rogers

Sophomore Logan Diggs prepares to dive into the pool. Diggs uses swim to find his own identity apart from siblings.

Story by Logan Diggs, staff writer

Growing up with two older brothers, I, like most baby brothers and sisters, have always looked up to my siblings. Also, like most other siblings, competition has always played a huge role in our household. Whenever I was young, I went to numerous swim meets and school events watching my brothers accomplishments unfold.

Watching my brothers go through high school and college, it became clear to me that my parents would do nothing less than push my siblings and me to be the best that we could be.

My oldest brother, Ashley, was captain of the swim team during his senior year, as well as part of National Honor Society and numerous other clubs. He received full-ride scholarships to five schools, including the University of Texas and the University of Alabama. Ashley also received a full Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship to Tulane University where he spent his next four years of college.

My second oldest brother, Conor, was also suiting up to start his high school journey. Conor used to tell me about how people he didn’t even know already had preconceived expectations for him based off of Ashley’s accomplishments.

My parents always told my brothers and me to never base our personal achievements on each other. Conor did not get as many scholarships as Ashley did his senior year, but he still has his own fair share of impressive accomplishments. He is currently a division one swimmer at a private school in Buffalo, New York. After Conor’s senior year swim banquet, he talked to me about how special my high school years would be, and in the midst of him rambling about how much he would miss high school, he said, “We will all live up to each others’ expectations — just in different ways.” And that has always stuck with me.

Where does that leave me?  

I’ve attempted to reach the bar my siblings have set for me.

Whether it’s about how good of a swimmer I should be or how smart I am, dealing with their standards has shaped me into the person I am today.”

— Logan Diggs

The day Conor left for college, he told me that I’m not always going to be able to live up to given expectations, but that doesn’t mean I won’t amount to anything.

Going into freshman year, I was plagued with thoughts like, “What if I’m not as fast as Conor?” or “What if I’m not as smart as Ashley?” But in reality, I had nothing to worry about. Conor made me realize that everyone takes a different road through life — some easier and some harder than others. I always thought, “I’m not as smart as him,” or “I’m not as big as him,” which made a extreme mental hill for me that at times felt impossible to climb.  

The day of regional finals, I set a personal record and qualified for the state meet in Austin, Texas. In that moment, I realized that I have to try my best in everything I do and not pay attention to what people may think of me or who I “should be”.

Through the past year of high school I’ve come to understand that all that matters is that I try to push my boundaries in everything I do. I’ve learned that no matter what anyone says, all I can do is be myself. So from now on, every time I get handed a test or get on top of a starter block I’m trying my best for myself, not my siblings.

Through all of this I’ve learned living in your siblings’ shadow doesn’t mean you have to stay there. I’ve learned to step into the public eye and be myself, no matter the expectations of my siblings set before me. Everyone is different in their own way.