It’s Not Always About the Medal

I have a confession to make…I am a Swim Mom.

It’s like a hockey mom or a soccer mom, but with sunscreen and flip flops.

And not only am I a *Swim Mom* but sometimes I  am ****CRAZY**** Swim Mom.

Those aren’t always proud moments but I sometimes just can’t control Her/Myself.

I guess I should backtrack and tell you how it all started.  I am a warm weather girl.  Hands down give me 100+ degrees and 150% humidity over -40 and snow any day of the week.  Any month of the  year.  So the opportunity came to join our neighborhood pool last summer.  And when we joined everyone said “You HAVE to do swim team”.  Um.  Ok.

I signed My Best Girl up, and took her to her first practice.  At an outdoor pool.  In May.  In Michigan.  I think her lips turned a permanent tint of blue at that first practice.  But she loved it.  She didn’t even know that she was in the  “Maybe swim team isn’t the best fit for your child” group.  You know it – the group that swims in the lane along the wall in case they start to drown.  Yeah.  That was Avery.  But she pushed on.  She swam all summer and when it was over, she asked if she could swim on a winter team.

And so we did.  We spent the fall, winter, and spring shlepping to swim practice 3-4 times a week.  And she continued to love it.  And she continued to improve.  Let’s face it, she worked her ass off.  She swam in every meet that was offered.  She picked hard events.  She didn’t come in first, and she didn’t come in last.  But she kept improving.  100 IMs, relays, 100 breaststroke events….she took it all on.  With a smile.  I’m not kidding.  She smiled down every length of the pool.

Extra Photo on Flash Drive - Qty 1 - 7074A


And time came for summer team.  So it seems that Avery has a good *swim* birthday.  I didn’t understand that until this year.  The cut off for determining summer age is May 31.   That puts her on the 8&under team.  She turned 9 on June 11th.   Got it now.  These young swimmers are limited to 25 meter events.  And this year, with a winter of swimming behind her, she is swimming in the points races.  She is helping her team earn points to win meets.  And she is doing well.  Her best events?  Freestyle and Butterfly.

You may be wondering where this post is going…well here’s the meat and potatoes of my point.

We had a mini meet this weekend and families/swimmers picked their events, unlike the dual meets where the coaches assign strokes. Avery was pumped that she could pick a 100 meter individual medley and a 50 breast stroke. And a rocking relay team.

The anticipated day arrives. We are at the pool at 7:30. Warmed up. Ready to swim. Wouldn’t know we had two factors working against us…

It was 90 degrees at 10am. And based on the events she picked we had 3+ hours between events. Time to wait. Time to wither. Everyone knew she was tired. Her coach told me later she knew something was off because she wasn’t chattering up a storm.

And without complaint, without tears….my best girl climbed up on the blocks not once, but twice, to face her challenging events. First the 50 breast. And secondly the IM.

She completed them. It was work. And she didn’t come in first. She didn’t come in last. Her attitude when she was finally wrapped in a fluffy towel with a Gatorade in hand??

“Now I have times in both events and have something to work towards improving.”

She didn’t care about the medal.  Neither did I.  I was proud of what she accomplished that day at the pool.

We packed up our cooler, deck chairs, 432 wet towels, snacks, sunscreen, and miscellaneous swim meet accessories and headed home.


As a little added treat…*Crazy Swim Mom* (aka CSM) came to our dual meet on Monday night.  She’s elusive…but Wendy caught a snapshot of her.  That’s her, crouched by the pool. yelling “Stroke” Or “Pull” Or “Kick”.  Hard to say.  Avery got her two best times in her events so whatever CSM yelled, worked.



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