Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Determination


We are in the throes of swim team.  7:30am practice almost every morning.  Saturday meets.  Lots of hard work going on.


The girls didn't really want to do swim team this summer.  They would have preferred to take ballet.  But the ballet summer classes were long and expensive and on different days for each girl.  Swim team is a great sport for a large family.  They can all go together to practice and to the meets.


They can cheer each other on.  They can set their own goals.  They get a great workout.  They're tired at night.  (It's just the rest of the livelong day I have to figure out how in the world to keep them entertained on summer weekdays!)


And as their daddy says, swimming is a skill that could save a life one day, theirs or someone else's.  It's so great to have confident swimmers, especially when we've got other small children who need a lot of supervision around the water.


One of our kids tried to quit, but Daddy was encouraging and helped changed her mind.  Now they're all enjoying themselves, meeting new friends, enjoying some fellow homeschooling friends, and working on a sport that's different from what they usually do.


Swim team here in south Texas is so very different from the Houston suburbs!  It's laid back, and it's actually SUMMER swim league.  In Houston the meets start in early May and are pretty much finished by mid-June.  Here we will continue through the end of July.  There are only 40 kids on the team as opposed to the 100+ on our team in Houston.  The meets are slow, disorganized, and there's lots of space for everyone to pitch tents and roam around.  In Houston you are packed like sardines, it runs smoothly, but it runs LONG, and those hot Saturday mornings are rough!


Also, in Houston the kids compete against many children who swim year-round.  They don't have much of a chance at making it to any special meets, or even to be on a relay team at their basic meets.  Our kids are not the fastest swimmers, but they are determined, and they enjoy themselves.

Little Katie Grace, on the other hand, doesn't enjoy herself all that much at the swim meets.  These photos are all from their first meet because the two little ones and I didn't attend the meet this past weekend.  We had just gotten home from Houston the night before and so we stayed home to rest.


Steven Joseph may be the most determined swimmer on the team.  This was his only race at his first meet, and it was his first time to make it across the pool without grabbing the rope.  It was also the first time he'd ever done side breathing.  All the kids cheered him on from the side; he's like the team's mascot!

We are so proud of him.  Today the coach recounted to the older kids how Steven follows him around all day at the meets, just waiting anxiously for his turn to swim his one or two races, while the older kids swim seven or eight races.  But this weekend he got to be on two relay teams with the big boys.  He was the final leg of the relay, and I wish I could have seen the whole team cheering him on!  They apparently had a huge lead, but the other swimmers nearly caught up, and Steven Joseph just barely touched the wall first!

Poor Tommy is too young for swim team.  Maybe next year.  It's hard to be the little sibling who watches the older ones swim every day.  During practice and the meets, the younger siblings don't get to swim, so it is very hard to have to sit on the sidelines.  I've been bringing lots of toys and things for him to do.

 But last week (pictured) he got to swim every day while we were at the hotel.  He kept playing "swim team" and talking about how these were his swim practices.  He wanted me to say, "Take your mark.  Beep!" like at the swim meets.

And the most amazing thing of all was that the kids finally convinced him to try jumping in the water and putting his face in.  He'd never done it before and was so proud of himself!

Over and over again, jumping off the side.  He was so happy.  Hopefully now he will be more interested in learning to swim this summer.
Swimming is one of my favorite summer time memories.  I'm glad we can enjoy swim team, hotel pools, the club with my parents, and next year...the pool two blocks away!  Can't wait!  Where do you enjoy swimming in the summer?

1 comment:

Eileen Miller said...

We are on swim team too in the summers. We just had our pancake breakfast and team picture. My son will be in his first meet tonight. We have to go get his swim team suit today.

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