Day two with the teenager was a walk in the park. It was just last year that I was always nervous when she swam. Up until recently Sarah didn’t really care about swimming, she just did it for the socializing and she enjoyed the exercise. Sophie was 7…if we could get through a meet with her with no tear we considered it a success. The tide has shifted and all three girls are very focused on their races and success in the pool.
This isn’t to say I don’t care about Grace’s swimming any more. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am in awe of her dedication and focus to the sport. She has been swimming consistently since she was 6. It hasn’t come easy to her all the time either. She has weathered unpredictable coaches, long plateaus and years of girl drama. And still loves it.
Grace is becoming a young woman. She used to need pumping up before meets and lots of encouragement. She has found that inner fight on her own. As well as inner peace.
Going into this meet she only had one JO cut and about 7 she was close to. She had to pick five events and struggled with which five to choose.
During the morning session she swam 50 and 200 free. While she didn’t make the JO cuts she took time off in both events and was pleased with her results. After a quick rest at home we went back to the pool – stopping at Starbucks for her “go-go juice” – some kind of soy vanilla frozen thing. She was concerned about how she would do in the afternoon session, she had 200 IM, 200 Back and 100 fly in pretty rapid succession. Her coach and her dad suggested scratching one of the events. She was furthest from the JO time in 100 fly but it was the last event and the one she most wanted to swim.
My advice is always different. I am not a swimmer – I was in sales in my professional career. My motto? Simple, throw a lot of shit against the wall and see what sticks. Simply put, swim your heart out in all three races and see what happens.
Her IM – the race she debated scratching was awesome. She only needed to take off a second for the JO cut. All was going well until she hit breaststroke. I think she was tapering or something. Not her best performance. She added a second.
This is when I usually get really nervous. But I didn’t. Her next race was 200 back and I knew she would get the JO time. She had swum it twice recently, once getting an oops DQ and once slipping on her start. She had run through her excuses and it was time to swim it well. And she did, taking of almost 4 seconds and getting her time.
She warmed down for 6 minutes and was back on the block for 100 fly. She had a great swim, took off enough time to qualify for Dolan but missed JO’s. And just like that we were out of there.
She was thrilled with her swims. Having two JO times she gets her bag tag and t-shirt but also gets to swim at Spring Champs. She swims great when rested and is excited about both meets.
After the meets they get a two-week break and we head into LC season. Grace loves long course and is excited for the change of pace. The car ride home was lively conversation. About shopping. Teenagers are great. Did I just say that?