Pour some sugar on it

Speaking of Sophie crying…

How about some tact? Sophie’s 8. Probably not the best race strategist. A tad inconsistant at times. But cute as hell.

At our recent meet Sophie had a mini brain fart and decided to use catch up free style for her race. A great drill but a sure fire way to add a second and a half to a 25. It worked and she did.

She usually gets first for 8 and under on our team, this landed her in third. Not the end of the world. Remember, she is 8.

The only problem is, there are two graduated relays at the end of the meet, made up of the two fastest freestylers in everything BUT 15-18. Sophie was swimming the A relay weekly with her sister Grace. She obviously got bumped down and to add insult to injury, Sarah pulled out a second for the team and made the B relay.

I give Sophie credit she was a good sport. She put her arms around me and cheered for both of her sisters. Her lower lip was a little more prominent than usual and the cheering was very muffled. The world had not ended though. Yet.

After the relay, the assistant head coach scooped up the little girl who swam the A relay for 8 and under, twirled her around and said “I am so proud of you”. Right in front of sad face Sophie. Who them sobbed.

Honestly, I would not have cared BUT in this particular case I was annoyed. Neither of the head coaches even noticed Sophie had not swam correctly. They did not talk to her before or after her race. I was the one who broke it to her that she had been bumped from her relay. And no one ever picked her up and twirled her around after her first relay. Oh but the little girl who beat her (and to be fair she did in fact beat her AND deserved the spot) happens to also swim for these two coaches year round.

Favoritism has been troubling our summer team for years. I didn’t notice it the first few years because we actually swam for them year round until last year. It is easy to turn a blind eye when favoritism is in your favor.  To be favor, I think there is favoritism on all swim teams – and everything else in life for that matter.

This is turning out to be a great life lesson for the girls. They are witnessing first hand what it is like to be the underdog. Grace gets first in her age group in everything but watches the second place swimmer get the congrats. Sarah is swimming for her life against another swimmer to secure a spot for fly and the coaches are pulling for the other swimmer.  Sophie could swim with floaties on and nobody would notice. We are putting the “I” in swim this summer.

It is a fantastic position to be in. I could let shit like this piss me off but is it really worth it? In the end we love our girls best. Twirling is for ballerinas. Ring Pops are for swimmers.

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Before and After

I stumbled upon these photos today. This is Sophie 3 years ago at the age of 5 in her first mini meet. Yes she is crying. And I literally threw her in the pool to make (force) her to swim. I am quite sure I was judged that day. I also gained the respect of a few people. I did it because I was fairly certain this would happen:

I got lucky. Sometimes we have to trust our mommy instincts and force our kids to do things they think they don’t want to. Or think they will hate. Or they are certain they can’t.

She is alive and well three years later.

And has turned into a bit of bad ass in the pool lately. She still cries sometimes.

Holy shitstorm

Friday evening we, much like a lot of people in the country, were hit with the mother of all thunderstorms. Two of my girls slept right through. The middle one came down and said she was scared. I lied to her and told her there was nothing to be afraid of. We were fortunate not to lose power. Many others were not so lucky.

Our meet yesterday had to be cancelled. It was an away meet and their pool did not have power. I did not find this out until after I drank half a pot of coffee. Going back to bed was not an option.

The meet has been rescheduled for this evening. Grace once again is trying to get a team record in 50 back and she has been on pins and needles all day. She usually swims better later in the day, fingers crossed this is the case for her this evening. This is also the last weekend to qualify for coaches long course. Grace has one solid opportunity to swim and is hoping to earn one more qualifying time. This was not a great time for a meet postponement, we were ready to rock and roll yesterday.

I decided that today would be a quiet day since all three girls were swimming this evening and it is quite hot out. Sarah decided to go to a neighbors and on the way there got stung by a bee. I hope that it was a lucky bee and it will help her swim fast.

This has been a hard week for us, I learned about the death of a high school friend and a very close family member endured a grueling surgery and has a rough road to recovery. Many of our friends are without power in intolerable heat. It is easy to complain about the little things in life that inconvenience us – such as the postponement of a meet but sometimes life tells you to be grateful for what you do have.

I need to work on being more grateful. I have everything I could ever need.