The Heart of Swimming

The girls.

 

I am so very proud of my girls. They swam in their first meet of the season today. It was at a pool that they had never competed at and while I didn’t like the set-up of the building, the meet was well run.

Both girls swam really well. Each of them dropped time in races that they had previously competed.

I think my favorite part was when Hollywood, who swam IM for the very first time today, raced in her heat. Before the race her sweet coach wrote the order of the strokes on her hand to remind her so she wouldn’t DQ on wrong stroke order. So, she would pause at the end of each length to check her hand and start the next stroke. This made her much slower than the rest of the swimmers in her heat.

But you know what? As she started her last length of the pool in freestyle everyone in the natatorium was cheering her on. Parents from three other teams were yelling and clapping and celebrating my girl as she finished her very first IM race. Swimmers waiting for their own heat to start were clapping and cheering as she touched the wall to mark her time. I don’t know if she noticed the cheers and clapping, but I sure did.

That is what childhood competition is all about. Sure, I want them to do well and try hard. But more than anything I want them to love what they do. Winning would be the icing on the cake.

So thanks to all you parents out there that cheer for those that don’t always win, but they do their best. Their Mama notices and maybe she tears up a little bit when she sees her baby beaming at being the most cheered for kid at the competition.

I got to experience that today. I got to see my kids confidence grow just a little bit because nobody made a big deal about her being a little slower in her race. They just cheered her to the finish line like she was Missy Franklin. And I fell a little more in love with the sport of swimming today and the parents that support it.

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