My kids are the kind of kids that could spend every waking moment of summer in the water, wearing wet bathing suits for days on end and not being the slightest bit bothered by it! They have always been fish - all four of them. Maybe it's because we had them in water when they were each very young, and abided by the theory that getting water splashed in one's face early on makes one comfortable in water for the long haul. Or maybe they were just born with a love of water like I was and it's a generational thing.
No matter, swimming is their Number One when it comes to fun in the summer sun. (OK, when I wrote this sentence I seriously did not mean for it to rhyme so perfectly.....HA! :)
Other than a mini swim team Rylen tried several years ago, we had not ventured into competitive swimming until this summer. Rylen decided she wanted to be a part of the local summer swim team at the neighborhood pool. My other kids were also interested, but juggling the different practice times that corresponded with their various age levels was going to be too complicated with my work schedule. (I really am going to try and work it out for them all next year!)
So each morning this summer at 6:45 a.m., this oldest girl of mine rides her bike to the next neighborhood pool over to swim team practice. It has not been easy every day, and I permit the occasional "skip" day because after all, it's summer! I must say, I have been impressed by her hard work and dedication to this little team and surprised by how much she is enjoying it. Not because she doesn't love to swim, but because at the ripe old age of 13, most of her peers on the team have been swimming for years and are far faster than she. She was bothered by her slower times for the first couple of meets and who can blame her? Don't you remember when you were 13 and it felt like the whole world was watching every move you made?
Then it clicked for her that although she was not beating her teammates' times she was beating her own times, and it all came together in her mind. She then learned to compete against herself and set her own personal goals. She felt the sweet rewards of her own private victories stroke by stoke and race by race.
She did this for herself. She saw her hard work pay off. She overcame caring too much about what others around her thought. Yet she still heard her teammates cheer for her while she swam her little heart out all the way to the finish line!
That's my girl. I am so proud of her!