I knew we'd need
something this summer to keep us occupied. In fact, several somethings would be ideal. Not that we would otherwise rest on our laurels, but I was really hoping that Kelsey might consider a swim team at long last.
Up until now, she has enjoyed swimming and taken many, many lessons including stroke work, but had no interest in competition. Cait had a very brief stint with it and decided it was not for her, so I didn't push it on Kelsey. Plus, we would need to join a pool in order for Kelsey to swim with a team (our neighborhood only has a pool, nothing else) and that was an extra expense we couldn't afford to incur last summer. This year, with Pete over there and the ISMA/danger/differential trickling in, it's a different story.
We talked about the possibility many times and Kelsey decided she was ready. I was so nervous she would jump in the pool and hate it, but I could not have been more wrong. Her first practice was exhausting, but she was with friends from both Girl Scouts and school...and they were all tired and dragging a bit by the end of practice. She then missed two days for weather and an event, but by the following week seemed excited about practice. By the end of this week, she was happily realizing that her endurance was increasing and that backstroke is "so easy!" Her only issue was too many swimmers in a lane, thus she could not go fast enough for her liking.
Today was the big test: time trials. I worried about a repeat of Cait's aborted swim team attempt and shuddered in advance. We made it in time for her to warm up and realize that everyone was just excited to be together. The kids were great about hanging out together, getting their cards and making sure everyone was lined up as they should be. Then the moment of truth: she had the 50 meter freestyle to complete.
The whistle blew and off they went. She was not the fastest, but she gave it her all and finished not far behind the others. She got out of the pool and the first words out of her mouth were, "I finished! I just kept going, I didn't stop and I finished! I don't care if I am the last person, I am going to finish it!"
And there we have it: We have just cemented our participation in the swim team because she is so excited about the opportunity and how she is a part of that and that she does her part...not whether she wins or not.
Would I be happy if she won? Absolutely. However, I am even happier (and, yes, quite proud) that she is not bent on a trophy, but simply creating her own goals and following through. She kept up the same attitude through the backstroke (which was even better) and left the pool after the trials tired but very satisfied with herself and eager to keep going. Who could ask for more than that?