This Saturday I spent another afternoon in a natatorium (look it up and laugh). It’s been a constant from the end of August through next Saturday, watching my daughter swim. She’s a breast stroker and not much else. She’s always been slow with her free and backstroke and really has not desire to drown doing the fly. She’d laugh and hit me if she read this, but yet, she’d also probably agree.
This Saturday was special for her. As a freshman, she was close to making her squad’s regional team and last year, between a new coach not tapering the team right and her lift weights constantly, she dropped no time, no making the team. This season, her goal was to make the regional team and set herself up for success. Her gym class was different with more cardio and less lifting. She did a couple of swim camps over the summer and had a success season there, and finally she wanted it it more. Over the last month, she’d dropped 4 1/2 seconds, finally proving she belonged. She got the email and was quite surprised. However, she worked even harder and Saturday, took another 2 1/2 seconds off her personal best, swimming the best race of the season. She’s not a “huggy” kind of person, but hugged a couple of different girls, talked with everyone, and just seemed to have a smile on her face all the time.
The best part of all this, the team. Our school does not have a swim team, so we drive 30 miles to a neighboring district. She’s become a beautiful young woman, but the confidence, the willingness to try new things, I attribute much of it to her being on the swim team. As a coach, I talk about including everyone, finding a place, and all sorts of different things dealing with being a good teammate. This group, they put that into action. From my daughter’s first day as a freshman, she’s been welcomed with open arms on a team that is a 30 minute drive away from all that is comfortable and safe for her. This team is a group of schools, 5 to be exact, of girls who come from all different directions, but compete under one group.
My happy thought. Swim team. Three years ago, as we talked about starting this, I was quite apprehensive. Now, the girl I know is who she is because of the positive influence these girls, this team has had on her.