People always ask me: What’s it like playing on the same team as your sister? To be honest, it’s not really a question I’ve put much thought into, because playing water polo with Makenzie is just normal. My sister and I have always been on the same team, so I don’t really know what it’s like to play without her. I don’t really want to know, either. After spending some time reflecting on it, being on the same team with my sister, to whom I am very close, is an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world for multiple reasons.
First, and possibly most importantly, Makenzie is REALLY good at water polo, and I’d much rather play with her than against her. I pity the people who have to guard the Fischer sister who took all the athletic traits in our family. (I’m not bitter. I’ve come to terms with the fact that the main reason I’m any good is because I work hard). It’s important to note here that Makenzie and I play opposite positions. I’m a center and she’s a center defender, which means her job in practice is to essentially guard me and make sure I don’t score. This frequently doesn’t turn out too well for me. But I’ll take having her guard me in practice over having her guarding me in a game any day.
Second, because we apparently look very similar (I don’t see it), sometimes people mistake me for her and vice versa. I never correct them. When people come up to me and say, “Hey, Makenzie, sweet goal,” or, “Way to save the game, Makenzie,” I just nod, smile, and say, “Thanks,” even though I probably should correct them and say, “No, I’m not Makenzie, I’m her sister Aria.” Once, a board accidentally named me the CIF Southern Section MVP instead of my sister. Everyone knew it was an honest mistake and Makenzie was really the MVP, but it took them about a day to correct it. I spent that whole day prancing around the house, trying to make Makenzie call me “the MVP.”
Thirdly, in all seriousness, playing water polo has brought me and Makenzie even closer, and I value every minute I spend with her playing the sport we both love. Having the same passion allows us to pursue similar goals, and she motivates me to be better in and out of the pool everyday. We have spent a lot of time together on pool decks, and while this does cause some tension when we get sick of each other, ultimately, it binds us closer together. Training can be tough sometimes, and it’s nice to have someone to vent to that I know I can trust 100 percent.
Contact Aria Fischer at afisch ‘at’ stanford.edu.