Yee-haw, what a weekend!! It felt like a total rollercoaster.
So, we left Saturday morning for the swim meet, as I mentioned.
First of all, those were some LONG days at the pool. We were essentially there from 9 am until almost 8 pm both days, with a couple hour break in between Prelims and Finals when we left for lunch. For swimming, you always have to factor in an extra 1-1.5 hours for warm-ups, etc. before the meet even starts…
All in all it was a good and fun weekend, but it also felt highly emotional/ draining, too.
Let’s start with the good:
- Asher had fun! There is a lot of time for “team bonding” when you’re at the pool that many hours.
- Our hotel was very nice. There was HOT BREAKFAST again (yay for no more “cold, bagged breakfast” like we got on vacation this summer).
- Asher earned lifetime “best times” in 4 out of his 6 events (i.e. he swam them faster than he ever had before), and he made the “A” Final (top 8) in all of his events.
Now the “not so good”:
- This meet format is exhausting. I mean, those are long days. You have to swim everything TWICE (prelims/finals) each day, at basically all out race pace both times. (In theory you’d go slightly easier in prelims, but at this age that’s tough to really implement. And by “you”, I mean the kids, because I definitely didn’t swim even a tiny bit this weekend. 😁) The kids were toast by the end on Sunday night.
- Asher was hoping to get “state cuts” in potentially 3 different events, and missed all 3 by a little bit.
(*Without getting too much into the world of swimming, a “state cut” is a time standard that qualifies you to swim that event at the State meet. Technically, they are just pretty arbitrary times/numbers that the Wisconsin Swimming admins set and move around each year for each age group. In reality, these “numbers” become the holy grail for these swim kids… everyone wants to get them. It’s a huge badge of honor, basically. I have mixed feelings on this whole thing!! Because, like I said….it’s really just an arbitrary number…..)
- In the 100 yard freestyle Final, his best swimming buddy, who was in the lane next to him, out-touched him and beat him by a fraction of a second (and he missed the cut time). DOUBLE WHAMMY. This was Sunday night, at the end of Long Day 2.
TEARS and a minor meltdown followed, which then of course broke my little heart because who ever wants to see their kid cry or be heartbroken?? UGH. It’s so hard to even know what to say. Good job? Sorry you lost and didn’t get the time you wanted?? I love you? (Answer= c. “I love you”.🙂 )
You just hug them, of course, and try to get them to chin up. But it’s not like you can just leave and go home! He still had two more events to swim after that, and there were people everywhere, etc. so he didn’t have much privacy to be upset…. it was just stressful.
On the other hand, we’ve noticed that while Asher certainly works hard, in all honesty, there are probably some things he could be doing better. As in, things his coaches tell him that seem to go in one ear and out the other. Maybe not giving 100% in some areas in practice. Etc. But as a parent, what do you say?? You want to comfort and encourage them, but sometimes there simply ARE places where they might be cutting corners, which probably led to the results they got.
But it feels mean to say, “Well, your turns were crappy in your race because you do them crappily at practice!” Or, “Your coach told you to do XYZ, but you definitely did not do XYZ in that race….”. But sometimes that’s the honest truth! You really only get out what you put into things…. (but I guess even then, not always…). Nothing comes free or easy, especially as they get older, and that can be a hard pill to swallow.
Anyway, it’s a hard balance to know what to do and say. Parenting is hard.
He still did have a solid meet overall, and, he already has some other State qualifying times. But that’s the thing with swimming. They always want MORE….once they get one state cut, the race is on to get the next one. I get it! It’s human nature. But sometimes the whole thing ends up feeling like a rollercoaster ride.
Thought of the Day:
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. 🙂
I am grateful for Ivan putting up the outdoor Christmas lights while I was gone. I actually usually do that, so it was really nice to come home and see them DONE. ✅
*Sending thoughts and prayers to those affected by the horrible incident in Waukesha, WI. That is the neighboring town to my hometown where I grew up. Can’t believe that happened- it’s SO sad and senseless. (For international readers- a vehicle plowed through a Christmas parade at full speed, killing at least 5 and critically injuring many others.)