Medal and Ribbons and Trophies – oh my

I actually hate ribbons and trophies, especially when they are based solely on participation.  They become meaningless and tend to take up a lot of space.

This weekend my girls earned lots of ribbons, trophies and medals.  Some hard-fought victories and yes a few meaningless ones along the way.  There are a few I am quite proud of the girls for earning.

Grace won two medals in relays at Junior Olympics.  One second and one third place.  I am proud of her because her team enters three relays in the meets and she made the A relay for backstroke twice!

Grace also got a first place medal at Divisionals, breaking a pool record in 50 back.  Way to go Grace.

Our summer team decided to give participation trophies to all of the kids this year.  This was the first time since we joined the team four years ago.  They also gave specials awards.

Grace was the female high point winner for our team.  She learned the morning of our banquet that an award was not being given for high point.  She was disappointed.

We got to the banquet and there was a table full of trophies.  And then…a table full of big trophies.  All of the kids noticed the big ones.  It was going to be a big night.

The Junior Coaches on our team give out paper plate awards.  Sophie was presented with the Paper Plate Smiles award.  Remember, Sophie is the one who cried her entire first year of swim team!  Such a proud moment.

Later in the evening, the large trophies were handed out.  The trophies were handed out to amazing children.  A pair of friends who raised several thousand dollars for a boy on our team with leukemia.  An awesome little boy who cheers for every kid, on our team or not.

The last trophy was most improved.  I really wouldn’t expect any of my girls to receive this.  We are year round swimmers and as such, there is very little improvement in a 6 week time span.  Most club swimmers get tired and start getting slower at the end of the season.

I was wrong.  Grace was awarded the trophy for the most improved.  I was shocked.  She has always been a top swimmer on our team.

She was awarded the trophy for maturity both in and out of the water.  One week Grace offered to swim breast stroke instead of fly even though she would have gotten first in fly and ended up with second in breast.  Our top breaststroke swimmer was on vacation and without Grace we would have placed 4th at best.  She came ever day and coached preteam at 6 PM despite getting up every day at 5 AM for her own practices.  She came to every B meet and cheered on all the little kids, especially her favorite 5-year-old.  She swam with a level of confidence and maturity that she hadn’t in the past.  She was serious, dedicated and focused in the water and had fun outside the water.  In all honesty, she was a lot faster than she was last year.

I credit the coach for awarding this to her.  It comes a year after we left her club team.  She didn’t have to give the most improved swimmer to the kid who left her program and went on to swim at another.  But she did because she earned it.

Grace did earn it.  She didn’t improve this year because we changed teams.  She improved because she wanted it.  She wanted it so bad.  She worked hard and never gave up.  She is a remarkable young lady and I am proud to be her mom.

Sarah didn’t win an award but if there was one for the kid who ate the most nachos she was a sure bet.  She has her eye on that most improved trophy for next year.  This from a kid who wanted to quit swimming eight weeks ago.  Sarah can do anything she puts her mind to.

And Sophie – I just love her smile.

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.


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.

My iphone is like crack

Well it is cracked.  For the second time.

The first time it bounced of the garage floor.  I went sobbing into the store and walked out with a new one.  Feeling smug.  They got the last laugh.  They gave me a piece of crap.

The top button doesn’t work.  It doesn’t hold a charge.  It gets stuck all the time.  And it has a tiny crack on the screen.  I only take the blame for the last one.  I went into the store and they wanted $200 to fix it.  I decided to deal with it.

I am now “upgrade eligible” and can get a new phone.  I am getting another iphone.  I researched all of the other options and nothing spoke to me.  So later today, Siri, who I find completely annoying, will speak to me.

Why does apple do to make their products so addicting.  You have an hour and a half to talk me into something else….go…

PS – Why in the world can’t they make a screen that doesn’t break?

Swim meet vs soccer game

Soccer Tournament

*  75 degrees and sunny – nice breeze
*  Haven’t opened book I brought during breaks in game – busy shooting the shit
*  Got an email with game times. Games last 45 minutes. No chance of missing the game.
*  Special area in park for open alcoholic beverages!
*  Two options for seating. Lay on a blanket in the grass or bring your own camp chair with footrest option
*  Food options – Chipotle close by.
*  Playing against better kids and losing.
*  Four hours, three hours of play time.
*  Bathrooms? Port A Potties

Swim Meet

*  98 degrees – air as thick as a brick
*  Haven’t opened book I brought during down time in meet (could have read three!) – busy shooting the shit
*  Ten dollar heat sheet. Memorized time line. Blink and you miss it.
*  Cocktails? You wish!
*  Two options for seating. Metal bleachers or bring your own camp chair and if you are lucky you will find a tiny square unfold it most of the way.
*  Food options – Chipotle close by. I research this.
*  Swimming against faster swimmers. Excited about this.
*  My kid is swimming one 30 second event in two hours.  Comes back two hours later, sits around for two hours and swims for 30 seconds again.  Glad it wasn’t 32 seconds.
*  Bathrooms? Every seat is socking wet. Does pool water kill pee germs?

Soccer Tournament and Swim Meet

Overpriced tie-dye t-shirts AND EVERYONE yelling KICK! Who knew?

I spent the morning at the soccer tournament and the evening at finals. It was a day filled with kids laughing, parents cheering, children succeeding and parents rejoicing. There are lots of crazy parents out there. Lucky for me I didn’t spend the day with any of them. It was a day filled with lifelong memories.




The little things in life

Grace swam 4 events at Junior Olympics today.  400 Medley Relay as lead backstroker, 200 back, 100 free and 50 fly.

Wonder genius mom didn’t really consider that with her seed times she would swim then all within about an hour.  My bad.

Grace has been fearful of relays.  A man who will remain nameless scarred her for life on them.  She rocked it and got a best time, her first AAA cut in 50 back!  Go Grace!

And that was the highlight of the meet.  We will take it!  A victory by all accounts.  Please swim GAWDS let her do it again tomorrow.


The highlights for me:

Getting to see my swim meet BFF!  She got to stay for finals and I didn’t.  But I got a Margarita and she didn’t!

Sitting next to a guy who refused to give up “his wifes purses seat” for a man who just had surgery on his leg and was on crutches.  Screw humanity, that purse needed to be comfy.  He literally left two minutes later and we all scored the front row.

Watching my friends twelve-year-old son eat TWO bowls of spaghetti faster than he swam 50 fly (26.37 thank you very much).  We wanted him to eat the second faster than the first, a little shoving food in your pie hole trials and finals if you will.

My daughter didn’t ask for the $79 blue tie-dye t-shirt.


I think tomorrow will be a soccer tournament update.  I will be outside for seven hours in 74 degree weather.  A nervous freaking wreck about one silly race.  That will hopefull take place in 30 seconds or less!

The Team Spirit Caravan

Who the hell came up with the idea of writing all over the car with car makers the night before a big meet?  Who fucking cares if you have team spirit, this isn’t the damn homecoming parade.  For some reason though the kids LOVE writing all over the car with markers (as if they haven’t done enough damage to the inside of the car they somehow feel the need to destroy the outside too).

Being the awesome mother that I am (I was probably having a contraband glass of wine truth be told and couldn’t be bothered) I told the kids to have at it.

And this is what I got:

Whoo hoo!  Go Dophlines!  Who says swimmers aren’t dumb?

PS It took me a week to notice I was driving around town with Dolphins spelled incorrectly on my window.

And, for your information, if you leave this paint on too long (6 plus months) it never comes off.  Traded it in this way.