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Be Still My Heart

18 Jul

I cannot tell you how much joy this picture brings me.

swim meet

This is my daughter, who at 18 months developed a crippling fear of the water. With swimming being my favorite hobby and sport, I can’t tell you how frustrating this was for me. She would literally get into the fetal position and cry like she was dying when I put her in the pool at that age.

What she didn’t know is that I am one stubborn Mamma. I was not going to allow for my child to be afraid of the water. My daughter would love the water, I pledged.

It took years of work. I found that she was mainly hysterical when I tried to teach her to swim, so I signed up for pricey swim lessons despite the fact that I had taught swim lessons myself for many years.

I kept exposing her to the water, and eventually, she fell in love with it. This past year, I decided she was ready for swim team. She passed try outs with flying colors, and has been absolutely in love with swimming and swim team this entire summer.

She has participated in two meets, and I tell you, it’s like a dream come true for me. There were many days I doubted that my daughter would develop an affinity for the sport of swimming. But she has. She is good at it, and more importantly, she loves it.

Being at the swim meet, I am in my element. I know exactly where she needs to be and when for her races. I know about how much time we have in between events so that I can take her into the adjacent indoor pool to have her practice a few skills. I am able to coach her. (This is in stark contrast to when she did gymnastics last year, as that is WAY outside my element.) Being at the meets and working with her makes me remember how much I truly enjoyed coaching. And now I have my own little swimmer who eagerly awaits my coaching.

I don’t know how long this will last. I don’t know how serious she’ll be about swimming. But for now, I love that our free time can be spent together at the pool, where she listens to my instruction, and respects my knowledge as a swimmer. I love how my chest swells with pride as I see her step up to the blocks, and how she smiles when she hears me cheering for her. Swimming was so good for me as a child. It taught me discipline, exercise, nutrition, goal setting and gave me a great network of friends. Here’s to hoping that my daughter will have the same experience.

Reno Moms Blog: How To Teach Your Kids to Swim

2 Jul

Head on over to the Reno Moms Blog to read my latest post on how to teach your kids to swim. Excuse me while I step on my soapbox a bit, but I really believe this is an important message!

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You Know What Makes Me Feel Old?!

3 Jul

Oh, how I have enjoyed watching the swimming Olympic Trials on TV this week.  I also love how I’m married to a man who also likes to watch swimming on TV.  I love watching and commenting on swimming techniques with him.

You know what makes me feel old, though?  Thinking about all that has changed since my days as a competitive swimmer, such as:

  • They now wear noseplugs (Really?!  This one baffles me, as I constantly blow air out my nose when I swim.)
  • Everyone does track starts, and the blocks are now designed for track starts
  • Women’s suits include shorts
  • The men don’t wear true Speedos (anyone else remember the “paper suits”, where the men would wear suits 2 sizes too small?)
  • You’re now allowed to do a flip turn in the IM from back to breast
  • You’re now allowed to do a butterfly kick off the wall when you’re swimming breaststroke
  • I remember when backstroke turns were a “sit and spin” and not a flip
  • I remember when doing butterfly kick off the wall underwater in backstroke was first done in the Olympics, causing major controversy

What also amazes me is women like Dara Torres and Janet Evans, whose careers have spanned multiple decades, and still remain competitive.  Sure, they didn’t make the Olympic team, but do you know how many teenagers and 20 year olds those women beat out in order to even make the Olympic trials?!  My heros.  I loved watching them race with their daughters cheering them on from the stands.  I also think their daughters will learn a lot about how their moms handled not making the team.  Both women seemed to take it in stride and hold their heads high.

I’m so excited to watch swimming in the Olympics later this month.  I have to admit I have a full fledged celebrity crush on both Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.  Growing up as a swimmer, I find a swimmer’s build to be the IDEAL physique, and I just LOVE watching these athletes in action!