My boys swim competitively. It wasn’t originally part of our “athletic” plan for the boys – one who is now 6 and one who is now 10.
When they finished up their swimming lessons sessions two springs ago, I asked the swim director, “What should I do with them for the summer as far as lessons?”
Her response, “How about the swim team?”
The summer swim team transitioned to the winter swim team. And thankfully there isn’t too much overlap with their spring and fall baseball seasons.
From the end of May to the beginning of August, I now cart them to swim practices during the day – up to five times a week. From the end of September through the beginning of March, my husband and I cart them to evening practices – up to four times a week. Sometimes their practices are on the same night. Sometimes their practices are on different nights.
Since we can’t be on the pool deck during swim practices, I take the time to work out myself or work on personal or freelance projects.
In the summer, we spend Monday nights in June and July at swim meets. In the winter, we spend Saturdays in December and January at swim meets. Sometimes we enter into swim invitationals on Sundays. And of course we have championship meets in August, February and March.
We watch times cut by seconds. We watch qualifying times being made my less than a second – 0.01 to be exact. We watch qualifying times being missed by lesson than a second – 0.28 to be exact. We mark up arms with Sharpies: event numbers, lane numbers, heat numbers. Some kids actually get accused of cheating the next day at school because of all the leftover swim info on their arms.
I’m so proud of my boys. The lessons they have learned. – both life ones and swim ones. The friendships they have made. The respect they show to their coaches. The laughter they share with the coaches. And through it all, my boys have taught me so much!
Today, I post this early in the morning simply because an early alarm clock will ring. My 10-year-old will walk onto the pool deck for his championship meet. The meet where he has made the times to earn the privilege to be on that pool deck to swim the freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly strokes. We won’t find out about any potential relay events until we are on the pool deck.
At this meet, we will loudly cheer for him. At this meet, I will probably hold back a few tears.
At this meet, I will once again give him my pre-meet encouragement,
“No matter how you do today, I am so proud of you!”
**My younger son finished his swim season about a month ago. I always tell him the same thing!**