The triple win

Saturday was our final meet of the season, this Saturday is divisional.

We have lost every single meet.  Despite all the losses, my kids have swam very well and have more than exceeded my expectations for the summer.  According to the virtual meet, this meet would be no exception – we were to lose.  Only difference, it was to be a close one.

Grace was expected to win all of her races.  And she did.  Barely.  She would like to tell you that she was giving the poor girl seeded #2 false hope that she could beat her by swimming slower than normal but the reality is Grace swam slow.  Excuse of the day, she had swimmers ear and was tired.  At the end of the day she brought home five blues so no one was pointing a finger at her if we lost.

Sarah and Sophie both swam as expected.  And ate nachos as expected.  Sarah had struggled to get her breast time in the past couple of weeks and was able to do that during the meet and was psyched. Still, it was a pretty uneventful meet.

Well, except my little fly girl.  Sophie had been swimming a very consistent time in her 25 fly but just knew she had more in her.  I watched her race from the side and could see it was close but she fought hard and brought home the blue.  It is hard to judge times in a 25 but I knew it was good when she ran faster than she swam, threw her soaking wet body around me and squeezed me tight.  I think she said I took a second off and then she disappeared to find dad.  It was the best hug ever.

Later they posted results and I was able to confirm that she had indeed taken a full second off.  I could not have been more proud.  Big sis Grace was quite proud too, as she pointed out that Sophie had hit her All-Star Time (a motivational time for our summer swim league).  Mother of the year, I hadn’t even noticed!  The hug won me over, what more did I need!  What a day.

We also won the meet!  By now you know that I don’t really care about stuff like that.  Although now I am wondering if that was a lie I was telling myself because it brought a tear to my eye seeing the joy on the kids faces!

On the way home Sarah told me “I don’t want to quit swimming”.  I am still smiling about that win as I pull out my check book.  I need to win the lottery…and soon.


Proud moment #52

Coaches Long Course proved to be an amazing night for Grace.

She had not qualified for this meet in the past, this was a first.  Most kids at 12 are a little nervous walking into a big meet like this.  Not Grace – she was one cool customer.

She was perfectly fine being dropped off at the front while I went and parked.  She walked around deck and mingled with past and present coaches.  Old friends and new.  Wished her competitors well and sized up the pool and competition.    She even gave her summer coach some sound advice on how they should negotiate warm ups!

I really expected her to do well in 100 back – she was so stinking close to that zone time.  Her first race though was 100 free with a fairly short break between the two.  I was a nervous wreck, Grace calm as can be.

She swam her 100 free and I looked to the electronic scoreboard and saw 108.  A best time by a second and a half.  And then a second glance.  106.93.  I read it wrong.  She took 3.5 seconds off.  The look on her face was something I will never forget.  She was absolutely shocked and thrilled with her time!

Not long after she swam 100 back.  And yes she nailed that zone time, beat it by a full second.  This night was one that won’t long be forgotten.

She wanted to stay and cheer on all of her friends.  We watched every race and cheered for everyone.

I am proud of Grace – not just for her awesome times but also because she wasn’t nervous, didn’t cave to pressure and was a true sportsman!  What an amazing person.  What a night.

Like mother, like daughter

I talk often about my trusty iPhone.  I could not be a swim mom without it.  I definitely am addicted to my deck pass app – if you don’t have it, why not?  I also love that I can shop, blog, Facebook, shop, shop, and email during meets.  And my favorite thing to do is find a great place to eat close to meet sites through yelp!.  I have been accused of loving my iPhone more that life.  Not more than shoes though.

My daughter might be a little addicted to hers too.  We once took her iPhone away for a few days as punishment and she screamed “what will I do at the meet this weekend?”  Seriously, I don’t know.  Sorry dear you are on your own for that one.

We have several photographers on our team who take amazing pictures.  I spend an hour after every meet pouring over the photos, reliving fun moments and saving all of the photos of my kids.  I couldn’t help but laugh a little at these two:

Yes, that would be my daughter.

Deck Pass – download it.  You will thank me later.

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.

We don’t care about times

I have heard this several times this year.  Dude really?  I wasn’t born yesterday.

One was the parent of a top (and I do mean top) swimmer in his age group.  I am talking nationally ranked top swimmer.  Being humble is one thing but thinking people are stupid is another.  The person talking to them was paying them a compliment.  I think if your kids is doing awesome and someone points out this awesomeness the most appropriate response is “thank you”.  If you feel the need to be humble throw in a “he has had a good year thanks to hard work and great coaching”.  But don’t act like you don’t know your kid is the shit-diggity.  Anyone who hates you for it is an asshole.

Swimming is a sport that is all about the times. No one gets better by having pretty strokes or a cute suit or because their mom volunteers a lot.  The sport is based solely on times.  After a race the kids are never thrown compliments by the timers.  They get one and only one piece of information.

Our summer league has two meets.  One that the three fastest swimmers in each age and stroke participate in and one that anyone can swim in.  I am fairly unapologetic when my kids swim in the A meets, it generally happens when they are top of their age group and I am not upset when they don’t.  I really don’t feel guilty when mid-season my kids bump another kid out and beg my kids not to react if they get bumped out.  It isn’t a sport up for interpretation…the rules are clear and not up for debate.  I want my kids to always do their best and not worry about what other kids are doing.  Of course I want them to have fun BUT I care about their times.  I won’t insult your intelligence and say I don’t.

I have been hammering in my kids heads for years that place doesn’t matter.

And then along come the Olympic Trials.  They were fast to point out to me that place does matter.  Ok fine, go the Olympics get first and I won’t ask you your time when you are done swimming.  I hope if they go they look cute though.

Please take me to practice!

Mom, will you make me some eggs?
Can we get to practice early?
Can I do both practices today?
I am going to do some crunches.
I need to get to bed early tonight.

Can we watch SWIMMING?  Please?

I would personally like to thank the 2012 Olympic Trials for motivating my girls to do all of the things that we (mom, dad and coaches) have been preaching for years.  They are no longer watching Toddlers and Tiaras but rather are glued to the Olympic Trials.

This summer we get to watch lots of amazing swimmers in the Olympics!  I am also fascinated watching future potential Olympians at every meet I go to.  No, not just the 8-year-old who is top ten in the country but also the kid stepping into the pool for the first time because the Olympics inspired them.

It gives my girls hope that hard work, hard work and hard work will get you there.  I am good with that.

I may not be a Doctor

But I can diagnose swimmers ear.  Sophie can.  She is 8.

Sophie started complaining about it yesterday morning and by this afternoon she was in excruciating pain.  And of course we are out of the antibiotic drops.

I was nervous about calling the Doctor, she is not one to call in prescriptions without seeing the kids and we are both on the same page about not using antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.

I got the nurse.  I could hear her talking to the Doctor – there was a small back and forth as to whether I needed to come in.  I made the mistake of giving my first name.   The girls doctor then picked up the phone asked our last name.  I told her and then I got the two words I was hoping to hear.  NO PROBLEM.

I try not to be known as “that family” but in this particular case, being “that family that swims” paid off.  Drops are in.  And we are off to a swim meet!  Hope they work their magic.

Not in the cards

50 Backstroke

Pool Record – 34.38
Team Record – 34.27

Grace’s time – 34.47

As a non swimmer, it is hard for me to comprehend one or two tenths of a second. I do know, it may as well be an hour. It’s the classic case of could have, would have, should have.

Grace did the only reasonable thing she could do after the race. She cried. Having gone through the summer of tears with her last year, I have this one figured out. I told her it was a great race and she looked great. She said she could have done better and “I am pissed off at myself for blowing the turn”. Holy shit Grace, did you just say you were pissed off? I am calling this one a victory.

I am sorry but I don’t care that my daughter was crying on the pool deck. She was mad at herself, disappointed and bummed. She is allowed to feel this way.

She was also criticized for crying. Who cries when they just got first? Who cries when they are #4 in two states for summer rec leagues? A kid who wants more that is who. A blue ribbon is irrelevant. My kid is not a prima donna. Nothing has come easy for her and she has worked her ass off the last year and has decided she wants it all. Rock on Grace. Two years ago I would have judged her myself. I now know better.

During our conversation I hugged her, kissed her on her forehead and she was smiling through the tears. I am proud of her. Because she did cry.

Fix that turn baby. Own it.

50 back

Am I 12?

My favorite group is LMFAO.  I admit, for my age, I have really bad taste in music.  My kids will often bring me money, asking me to buy something for them from itunes.  More often than not I already own the song – I upload it and take their money.  Usually they stole the money from my purse.  That is how we roll.

I often use LMFAOisms in my speak, usually goes over the head of my more intelligent friends.  One of my favorites is “I work out”.  Which I in fact, do.

I was uploading photos from this weekends swim meet and learned a something scary.  My 12-year-old is in much better shape than I am.  What just happened?  I guess I should change it to “I work out?”.

Did I mention I am actually going to see LMFAO in concert tomorrow night?  I may not be 12 but I can act it sometimes.  Right?

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