The Man of the House and I have been talking about having the kids be in a sport for some time, years really. The conversation goes something like this:
Him: "I really want the kids to be in sports. What is coming up? Could they be in soccer?"
Me: "I think soccer already started. But next fall/spring/summer we'll do it, I promise. I just don't have time to drive them all over the place to practice and games right now."
But this summer I bit the bullet and agreed to give up my time and the Man of the House paid the bill for the kids to be on Swim Team.
|The team warming up.|
We've loved swim team. Practice is every morning, but they all practice at the same time and since it is summer now, we don't have to do anything else. So having practice has kept us on a halfway decent schedule. Plus, 3 of my 6 kids could save themselves if they fell out of a boat. most likely. better chance than before anyway.
I haven't even minded being at the park for 2 hours every day. Sometimes I even walk laps around the playground!
And the swim meets are super fun--like an 8 hour picnic with an exciting race every hour or so. The weather has been really hot, so my only wish is that I could get in the pool every so often.
We've found some fun things:
Turns out, Gwenny is very competitive. She was nervous her first meet, after all, she could barely swim when we had signed her up for the team and had only been practicing 2 weeks.
Her second meet, she knew what to do and swam like a whole different person. She cut a whopping 20 seconds off her best time on the 25 yard freestyle.
|Gwenny- freestyle is her favorite stroke.|
She came out of the water full of excitement and told me, "next time, I'm winning my heat."
|Here is Gwenny waiting for her turn.|
At the next meet, she won her heat!
|Gwenny winning her heat in the 25 yard backstroke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!|
Then she had times for both her freestyle and her backstroke that were just 2-3 seconds off from being "A times." Having an A time makes you one of the top 10 fastest swimmers in your age group and qualifies you for a completely separate championship at the end of the season.
There are 2 "divisions" for every race. The swimmers with seed times (or entry times) that are A times are the "A Division" and the swimmers with B seed times are the "C Division"--don't ask me why they don't call it the B Division.
They give medals for the top 3 in each division.
At our most recent meet last weekend, Gwendolyn's seed times were B times, so she was in the C Division. However, she bettered both her times by about 3 seconds scoring not only A times but coming in 3rd place for C division in freestyle and 2nd place for C division in backstroke. So she got 2 medals and will be swimming in the A Championships.
A 10-year-old boy from Joplin broke 2 tri-state records. They announced his name and the record he broke over the loud speaker each time.
Gwendolyn was like, "There are records and we can break them?"
I looked up the tri-state record for her age group for the 25 yard freestyle. (They print them on the heat sheets that we get to know when our kids race.) She would have to cut 10 more seconds off her time to beat the record which has stood since 1989.
She has record breaking in her sights now, so WATCH OUT!!
|The yellow cap is Benji|
Benji & Ana are not competitive. They do usually get a personal best time each race they swim, but it is only 1 or 2 seconds better.
|Benji doing the butterfly as part of the dreaded "IM" 100 yard Medley where they have to swim 25 yards of each butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, & freestyle.|
I think Benji might be more excited if he was winning or getting A times or even close to either. But most of the swimmers in his age group have been swimming a lot longer than half a summer. So he is last or almost last every time. I think this disappoints him, but he also doesn't have that fire of focus in his face like Gwenny does.
|Benji doing the 50 yard backstroke. He has been lapped here, which is why that other guy is going the opposite direction. rats.|
Ana hates race day and whines every time we go to a meet. But I found what motivates her!
|Ana doing the breast stroke in the IM Medley|
I said nothing, as I had already informed her that I was not buying ice cream.
"MOM, if I win my heat, which ice cream can I have?"
I thought, "She'll never win her heat." so I said, "If you win your heat, you can choose any ice cream you want."
I saw that look of focus and determination take over her face and I thought, "She might do it!"
|Ana doing the 50 yard backstroke|
She got a best time ticket but we didn't know how fast she had been. I could tell she had swum her hardest. I was so excited that when Benji came up for his race, which was right after Ana's, I told him through the fence that if he bettered his time by 10 seconds that he could have ice cream too.
Benji looked pretty determined to get ice cream. At the end of his race, he told me his timer told him he bettered his time by 9 seconds and was that good enough for ice cream?
I bought ice cream for all three kids, and we rejoiced in sweet success.
When the times were posted, we found that Benji had cut 8.8 seconds off his freestyle and 2.77 seconds off his backstroke.
Ana cut 6.5 seconds off her freestyle and 11.95 seconds off her backstroke!!!
She may not care about winning, but she cares about ice cream!
All in all, Saturday was a very satisfying day for all of us.