A Tale of Two Cities

Actually two states.  Saturday morning.  7 AM warm ups.  One an hour away in Maryland, the other an hour away in Virginia.  Stop right there if you are jealous.  This is just the beginning of the fun.

Chris took Sophie to her mini meet in Virginia. Who came up with the idea of 7 AM warm ups for minis?  This person sucks.

I took Grace to her warm ups.  Bambi was still there.  Looking really rough.

Sophie was out for blood at the mini meet.  They gave caps to the heat winners.  Last year Sophie did really well at the meet.  But no caps.  She was bound and determined to get the cap that she felt was rightfully hers.  And that she did.  A yellow one, her favorite color.sophie cap

I miss the simpler times of swimming.  When being a heat winner held some prestige.  Chris was texting me updates and I was texting him updates.  While Sophie was busy having a great time winning caps, Grace was hard at work swimming pretty half assed.  She swam 100 fly and added a second.  About two tenths too much to get her into the finals.  She then swam 200 backstroke, her event.  She had a goal in mind.  For the first 100 she was well on her way.  Well, her first 90.  Then she decided to glide into the wall.  Swimmers are taught to keep swimming, hoping that perhaps the refs won’t see the offense as critically as the swimmer.  Or even better yet, the won’t see it all.  OR they are standing right on top of you on the pool deck and they shoot their hand straight in the air.  As was the case in this event.  Backstrokers have it hard.  She held it together pretty well for the next 25 but at the turn she could see me.  I kept cheering for her and she started to cry.  Crying during a race makes no sense.  Two days later.  At the time it is a very natural reaction.  At the 175 mark she looked me straight in the eye and said “AM I DONE”?  I nodded yes.  “ARE YOU SURE?”  Yes.  At this point she was laughing.  She had blown the race and forgotten where she was in it.  I didn’t care that she got DQ’d, nor did her coaches.  But it was a great teachable moment.  Think about your race.

She got it together and soon after pulled out a respectable 200 free.  One that earned her a spot in finals.

Sarah’s session was up next.  She had a ride there.  I drove Grace home for a nap.  Then I drove back.  An hour each way.  Two more trips on the toll road.  The roadkill was still not cleaned up.  I needed a new route.

Sophie’s meet ended and Chris took her home to chill with Grace.  Sarah swam next.

The pool was not crowded for the 13-14 and 15-18 session.  I was still enjoying the meet.

Whoever got the bright idea to put 9-10 and 11-12 together though should be looking for a new job on craigslist.  When I got back I parked very far away.  The seat I had saved for myself with a towel and been reduced to half its size.  It was ridiculously hot and there wasn’t even standing room.   The fire marshal showed up at Junior Olympics at this same pool last year.  This was worse.  People were cranky.   I don’t know why, they all got to sleep in, I was up at 5:30.

Sarah swam three events.  All three she did a great job on.  Sarah is a nice middle of the pack swimmer.  This was her first meet as an 11-year-old, her birthday was the day before the meet started.  She got best times and swam with a lot of heart and determination.  I wish Sarah would take swimming on full-time, she has a lot of potential.  She is a wicked fierce competitor.  She may not win her race but she gives it 100%.  And then some.  She is thinking through the race and doesn’t make mistakes.

Her last event was 50 fly.  Her last time swimming that was 2 weeks ago when she went head to head with her baby sister.  This time she went head to head with her swim BFF.  They stayed together the entire race.  Until the end and Sarah’s friend out swam her by a few tenths.  Sarah knocked a half a second off her best time and was elated!  And speaking of exciting, they had nachos at concessions.  Sarah wolfed them down.

On the way out she told me that she loved racing her BFF.  That her friend pushed her to swim fast and they were both happy to get best times.  A kid that loves to compete and can handle the competition?  Go Sarah.

We passed our little friend on the way out.  May he rest in peace.

Chris took Grace back for finals.  She swam a nice 200 free.  And the day was done.

Total trips back and forth to meets at this point?  Eight.  My E-Z pass bill was going to be more than my mortgage.  Grace was begging to bag the last day of the meet.  Sophie wanted another cap.  Sarah?  She wanted nachos.

Wake up call in ten hours.

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T.G.I.F.

Whoever created this saying was clearly not a swimmer.  On a swim meet weekend Friday night usually means “drive your ass to a swim meet for one freaking event” – aka 500 free in our case.

In the past, Grace hated 500 free.  I had for a long time encouraged her to do it and she refused.  She now asks to swim it.  I was thrilled she wanted to do it and decided it was a sign of maturity.

I was feeling some mommy guilt because it was Sarah’s birthday.  She, along with three of her soccer teammates, had won an contest.  The prize was a dinner date with the soccer coach.  Imagine my surprise (relief) when her coach chose the night her birthday to take them to the Melting Pot.  Sarah was thrilled to spend her evening with her coach and teammates.

I convinced Sophie that she would enjoy going with me.  And then she changed her mind.  I am grateful for good friends who will throw in a frozen pizza, rent a movie and take on an extra kid for a few hours.

Grace and I were on our own.

We had a pleasant drive there.  Unfortunately, someone had hit a deer on the road outside the pool complex.  Recently.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.  I convinced Grace to stop thinking about it.

The pool was not crowded, parking was a breeze and the air temperature inside was tolerable.  No one even minded when I walked down on deck and talked to the coach and hung out with Grace.  Normally this is something I do not do and it annoys me when others do.  I went down to time and they didn’t need me and Grace’s coach told me to hang out, they were bored.

I can honestly say I enjoyed the meet.  We were being silly and laughing.  I can’t believe I am going to say this, we were having fun.  Grace was teasing her coach about being so quiet and not yelling when they swam.  We were making fun of the whistler dude and all the other odd things coaches and parents do during meets.  Finally it was Grace’s turn to swim.  Her coach decided to do all of the things we made fun of.  He yelled her name, whistled and yelled some more.  I literally thought she was going to fall in the pool she was laughing so hard on the block.

She had a good swim and got a best time.  Her turns were awful and her coach said if he didn’t want to go home he would deck enter her in the 1650.  On one hand I would have loved to have seen her reaction.  On the other hand, it was past my bed time.  We were out of there.

I was hoping the deer carcass would be gone.  Instead it had been hit a few hundred times.

I left with a false sense of security.  Thinking the meet would be a pleasant one.

I didn’t realize this until Sunday night but I am pretty sure Grace only swam the 500 free as punishment to me for putting her in 200 IM and 200 fly as back to back events on Sunday.  It took four hours door to door for a race that lasted less than six minutes.  Cost me $5 each way in tolls, dinner for her and $12 in gas.  Why was I laughing?  Was she getting the last laugh?

Day two starts in ten hours.

pool 1