Act your age

I have been trying to grow old gracefully but it just isn’t working. I am especially aware of this when I wake up in the morning. It takes me longer to get out of bed, the first few steps are a little achy and the first glance in the mirror reveals a face full of lines.

I do what I can to fight it. I workout, get lots of sleep and have priced out the Botox. Make it stop.

We are visiting family in Sun City, Arizona. Sun City is a community dedicated to retirees.

While taking a walk around a lake last night, a very kind gentleman asked me if I was a sister or mother to the girls. He may have been totally bullshitting me, I didn’t need to know. All this effort to maintain what little youth I can, and I learn I have just been hanging with the wrong crowd! I don’t need to change my perspective, I just need new friends.

Might have to go back tonight. My ego could use it.


The Perpetual Season

Summer, fall, winter and spring all have a finite end and beginning. Many of us measure the seasons by the temperature outside, the foliage on the trees or what we chose to wear each day. We can also rely on the calendar to tell us the season we have left or are about to begin.

Swimming is a little different. We swim short course, long course and summer. Between short course and long we get a two week break. Long and summer overlap, making for a nice long summer (my favorite season). Between summer and short course we get a three week break (unless you make zones in which case you get about a week).

Swimming. The “perpetual season”. My neighbor just asked when swimming ended. Rather than try and explain it, I gave the more obvious answer. Never. And for that we are grateful. Or so we tell ourselves.

Where is the camera?

Going on vacation… Need a camera.  We have two.  A decent point and shoot and a large DSLR.  I just spent twenty minutes looking for the components to the smaller camera.  Got it charged up and it has….574 photos on it.

Two years worth of spring break, Christmas, birthdays, first and last days of school.

My first thought?  Man, I have really gotten a lot of wrinkles in the past two years.

My second thought?  Am I chronicling my kids life through my ipone and facebook?  I love the convenience of spying my kids doing something cute, fun or memorable – snapping a photo and instantly sharing it with family and friends.  I hate that I rarely print a photo to tuck it in my wallet in the hopes of sharing with friends.

I love that my family gets to see my kids on a regular basis through the instantaneous connection between phone and social media.  But as they get older am I going to regret this?

Tomorrow is a fresh start.  I would like to take better quality photos of my kids and print them more often.  Please tell me I am not alone.

Two years ago she was even sassier!

Decisions, decisions

We are going on vacation for two weeks for spring break.  I feel a little guilty pulling the kids from school for meets.  Ironically enough, I feel no guilt pulling them two extra days for spring break.  We got screwed on snow days (thank goodness!) anyways.  We head west every other year and spend two weeks visiting family.

I have choices to make.

Do I?

Go Tiger Mom on the kids and make them get in the pool and do laps several times while we are away?

Cross train them with running, core work and upper body strength training?

Work the tans hard-core?

As a group fitness instructor, I work out for a living.  When I go on vacation I do exercise almost every day.  But only because I also like to enjoy good food and I hate to have it catch up to me.  As a full on lover of summer though, I like to work the tan when I can.

Decisions, decisions.  I suspect one of them is too much like me to sit around on her butt for two weeks straight.  But guess who decides?  They do!

Stay tuned, swim mom becomes vacation mom!

Check your ego at the door

The older two participated in a NFT meet this weekend. Sarah loves these meets, she gets to swim her good events against a smaller, slower group of kids. Despite having swam at the Age Group Champs last weekend, Grace opted to swim some events that she had tanked (breast stroke) at the JO Qualifier in February, as well as some events she fell just short of qualifying for (IM’s and 200/500 free).

This landed me in split sessions with 7 hour days. Apple needs to work on the charge capacity of the iphone, thankfully this event was at our home pool so I knew where all the wall outlets are and had the foresight to bring a charger. I usually drive around during the second warm ups juicing up the phone, but I had a primo parking spot and I wasn’t giving it up.

Sarah swam the morning session and did really, well, all over the map. Status quo. I struggle with this kid, her effort is about half assed and it shows in the results. But she also loves to swim, has a great attitude and always has fun at meets. It is funny, I never get nervous when she swims and I am grateful to have one that really just swims because it is fun. It is expensive fun but fun none the less. Glad her soccer is cheap. Yeah no, I am dreaming.

Grace swam the afternoon sessions. She felt a little awkward swimming this meet, it was a no faster than meet so she could only swim some of her “off” events and only one other kid from her group is in this age group.

As luck would have it, I ended up siting next to the “off” mom who felt it was unfair that kids who had the qualifying times for the meet the weekend before were allowed to swim at all. I didn’t feel any guilt about it, the meet specifically stated that you couldn’t swim any events that your time was faster than the posted time. It also happened to be a home meet hosted by our team. For half a second I thought about reasoning with her. And then my friends showed up. Woohoo for friends.

It didn’t go away. She realized that my daughter was in the last heat of 200 free and I am not ashamed to admit it, she won it. Grace was having a good meet. My friend to the left was not.  I have no clue about her kid, she was too worried about mine.  Apparently it isn’t fair that my daughter was also taking away all the ribbons. (1-8). In Grace’s defense she prefers medals. Dear me. I wasn’t going to cheer any more. Her boyfriend showed up and I slid to the right to make room.

Grace swam 6 events and posted 5 best times, 3 really freaking awesome time drops. I am sorry I don’t feel guilty. The lady can have the stupid ribbon. Coming to a meet, swimming your heart out on events you suck at (breaststroke) and doing well means more than a ribbon or a medal. For the record she didn’t get any ribbons in breaststroke. She will keep trying!

We are keeping the free t-shirt though. My kids love their swagger wear!  Check the ego at the door, if the kids can do it, why can’t the parents?

Oh and the cops came to this one too! Glad I kept that awesome spot, illegally parked cars were being towed. Loving the police smack down at meets!


(Side note – I am lucky to have a great group of friends.  We highlight ALL of the kids names that we know in the ONE heat sheet we buy and we cheer for ALL of them)

When a carrot becomes fudge

Well, she swam 500 free tonight and knocked off 15 seconds, coming .02 below the JO cut (which was last week). Until tonight this was Grace’s least favorite race. I have never seen her quite so happy after a race!

Thanks to both coaches for believing in her, even when she didn’t.

For tonight, that homemade fudge was much better for her than a bag of carrots. What we dangle in front of a child, be it the hypothetical carrot or some fudge, if it works it works. We go to bed happy.

What just happened?

Grace swam last weekend at Junior Olympics and was actually allowed to sit out the Spring Champs meet this weekend (A NFT meet at our home pool).  She decided to swim her off events (that would be anything associated with breast stroke).

Got a message from her coach telling me what she needs to do to win 500 free.  Which would be great BUT she had decided not to do it.  I think she would almost rather swim 200 breast.  Coach and I went back and forth that I would try to talk her into it.  I texted her on her way home from school and got a big fat no.

Coach then messaged her and they went back and forth. In the end he promised her homemade fudge if she went and did it.  She is suiting up as we speak.

Two things here.

1.  I am totally fine with my kid telling me no way in hell and then telling her coach sure!


2.  I am fine with her swimming for fudge.  Dude, I might do a 500 free for homemade fudge.

And your excuse is?

If you are like me, you have heard them all. From parents and swimmers. I hope you have never used them yourself.

My favorites:

  1. Had to poop
  2. Had to pee
  3. Ate too much
  4. Didn’t eat enough
  5. Pool was longer than I thought
  6. Pool was shorter than I thought
  7. Suit too tight
  8. Suit too big
  9. Flags in wierd spot
  10. Lines in wierd spot
  11. Thought it was a 50
  12. Thought it was a 100
  13. Thought it was an IM
  14. Goggles full of water
  15. Goggles in the water
  16. Didn’t warm up
  17. Didn’t warm down
  18. Warmed up too much
  19. Warmed down too much
  20. Sat too long
  21. Stood too long
  22. Too long between race
  23. Races too close together
  24. Ate too much
  25. Starving
  26. Drank too much
  27. Dehyrated
  28. Stayed up too late
  29. Got up too early
  30. Wanted to give someone else a chance
  31. Wanted to go home

So we are clear, I myself have said some of the lame-o excuses AND have let my children use them. The reality is though, it is a level playing field. At 6 PM on Sunday, everyone is tired. When two pools are racing at once, everyone has to keep a sharp ear on their pool. All the kids are sitting around, eating their weight in nachos. The kids who are true warriors can race their best under any conditions. No excuses.

And when you tank you tank. Have the humility to say “I (or my kid) didn’t have the best race / day / meet. There is nothing wrong with blowing a race, and truth is no one cares. (If your friends do, I strongly urge you to find new friends). I don’t want my kids to blow it off when they have a bad race or meet. They need to address it. But they also don’t need to come up with a lame excuse.

I love it when my kids say “I got too close to the wall on my third turn and it really showed in my time”. If they had to pee, not my problem. Maybe the problem of the kid in the heat after them.