This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trial and Meet

Saturday was MiMi's swim trials. That was the day the kids would be timed on all four of their swim forms: freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly. This to provide a base time for the first swim meet.

We weren't prepared.

I didn't realize we would be there *all* morning.

I mean, I did know that...but the pool opens at 11AM and the plan (from the swim coach) was to be done before the pool opened.

We got there at 8AM. We left, after MiMi's last event, at 11:30.

That means we had no food or drink the entire time we were there. The snack bar was closed. Fortunately, there were folks who *do* know how to do this stuff and brought Krispy Kreme and coffee to sell. Fortunately (again), we brought money (after all, we thought the snack bar would be open).

While I tried to downplay this swim trial event to MiMi, the air was electrified, and the mere fact that there were crowds of kids, MiMi soon felt nervous and scared.

Tim did a great job of keeping her calm and encouraging her...still, there was a lot of tears. In fact, before every event she had, there were *a lot* of tears. I was the carrot by waiting at the _other_ end of the lane for her.

And she did every single event.

I was so proud.

But before I could be proud? I cried.

I cried, involuntarily, when I saw one of the first set of kids do their event. I don't know how old they were, maybe 7-8 year old boys? But I cried. Some of them could not swim and instead, doggy-paddled or did whatever they could to stay afloat. Coaches, kids, parents, adults all yelled encouragement to each kid. Some kids had helpers in the water to encourage them to swim to them. It was amazing. It was inspiring. It rang through my whole body, how beautiful this was. And I cried like a big baby.

So I went to Tim, who is trying to keep MiMi from crying, only to cry alongside MiMi.

But once the tears went away (which took awhile), they were gone and I rooted everyone on.

Tuesday evening was the first swim *meet*. This was against a very BIG (meaning MANY) swim team *and* to top it off, it's at _their_ pool. All the cards are stacked against MiMi for being calm...

We get there at a time that I think is early, only to find that I barely made it into the parking lot for a space. How naive of me.

I did find a seat and then? Wait. Since we are the visiting team, we had to watch the extra large team to practice and practice and practice.

While we wait, MiMi notices that the platform end of the pool is all five feet deep. The four feet end is not until way until the other end. At our pool, the five feet is closest to the diving pool side, so she can swim on one end (the 4' side) and stop, feet down, then swim again. I sense panic is going to set in...

Finally, it's time for MiMi's swim team to practice and I walk her over...and it's a bit chaotic so I have no idea where she is supposed to be. I try to play it cool so as not to make her more nervous, which may have worked a little bit, but she dove in and swam...and attempted to stop, only to sink. I watch and she continues to bob-and-sink. I'm looking at the lifeguard like: do you see my kid is drowning?!? And I rush to Tim who is already up, contemplating how to dive over the kids to get to MiMi.

MiMi is now holding on to the ropes and not moving...but crying. Panic set in.

No one is paying attention to *my* daughter except me and Tim. The lifeguard, the coaches, NO ONE. So I find the assistant coach (that I have a crush on) and point out MiMi struggling. I mention that she was really nervous about the 5' deep side and now she's stuck. He says OK and I leave.

I am not a meddling mom (unless you fuck with my kids). So I wanted MiMi to follow her coaches' orders. And she did.

He walked by us, with her sniffling behind him, and mumbled slightly, but firmly to us "She. Will. Be. Fine."

And she was. Despite the fact that we were there from 5:45 PM until 10:30 PM...despite the fact that we had two thunderstorm stoppages...and despite the fact that their team had 100 swimmers to our 20? MiMi swam every single event.

How many events did she have?

First, a relay where she was the freestyler position.

Then a solo freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke *and* butterfly.

Lastly, free relay (whatever it's called, but swimmer's choose their stroke).

That's a lot of shit for a 7 year old to do.

And she did each one without her toe tapping the bottom of the pool. She swam the entire length of the pool for every single event. She has *never* done this before.

I was so proud. I was floored. I was inspired. I was in disbelief. *My* child did this. MINE!

At some point, I did tell her to reach for the wall. Even if she's a little far away from the wall, just reach for it. We noticed that the judges just wait for that touch of the wall (and yes, I remember that olympic moment that Michael Phelp's barely one with that first touch of the wall). She asked "you're not asking me to swim faster, just touch the wall, right?" And I grabbed her and told her that was exactly right.

I explained that at some point, once she gets comfortable swimming, she is going to want to swim the older kids. I pointed out that the older kids were just going crazy to go faster, and that's because they have had years of swimming behind them...probably starting at her age, and now, they WANT to go fast. But until she's ready, she can go as fast as she wants.

Let's just hope that doesn't apply to time. I don't want any of this to go by fast.

BTW, we still are learning. I brought snacks for Tuesday's meet but apparently, I need to bring DINNER because people were ordering pizzas, grabbing KFC, Mickey D's, etc. I'll be more prepared next time, but I bet there's something else I forget...

1 comment:

  1. Mi Mi is amazing - I can't even swim a lap of the whole pool without touching.