I’m back from the Friday-Saturday swim meet adventure with Asher. We left around 2:30 on Friday. Traffic was okay. I’m not a mega fan of Chicago area traffic, though in fairness, it really wasn’t overly heavy this time. There’s just a lot of lanes and a lot of cars down that way. And a good number of crazy people who drive 95 mph in the right lane as they weave around people, etc. Anyway, it was fine. We listened to Christmas music most the way and Asher was in a really good mood, so I enjoyed the time with him. 🙂
I dropped him at the pool for warmups and then went to check in at the hotel.
He just had one event on Friday night- the 500 freestyle. That went okay. Not GREAT, but “decent”, I think he said. Meaning, he got a personal best time, but not the time he was aiming for.
It got late before we got out of there. A bunch of other teammates/ swim families were picking up MOD pizzas and heading back to the hotel. It was almost 9 pm before we got back! We ate quick and headed up to bed. Asher read for a little bit and I made him turn the lights out by 10:30.
Saturday he was in the early session, so I was up showering by 6:15. The hotel had a nice free hot breakfast. We ate quickly and then I dropped him off by 7:45 a.m. for warm-ups before returning to pack up our hotel room and everything.
The meet started at 9 a.m. One of the other swim moms had saved a bunch of spots in the bleachers. It was a very spacious pool spectator area, as far as pool areas go. Very comfortable!!
I sometimes have mixed feelings about sitting with the other swim parents. (I do not think any of them read this! I hope not. Haha.) I don’t mean anything negative about them at all- I like them all very much. It’s just that swim meets are long. Like 3-4+ hours. And sometimes sitting and having to “chit chat” sort of on and off that whole time gets a little overwhelming to me. I sometimes prefer just sitting alone to watch the meet, reading a book in between events. But, I would have looked very anti-social and probably rude in this particular case, so, I sat with the group. 😆
Asher didn’t have the best day, sadly. Certainly not terrible or anything, but he added a little time on his first 3 events. After that, he came up to find me in the bleachers. I could tell he was just feeling down. He said, “I don’t know what’s going on, but I just don’t feel strong today. I don’t want to swim the 100 fly.” (Which was to be his final event, and a pretty strenuous one.) He seemed to be almost on the verge of tears.
I was a little torn about what to say. I mean, I tried to comfort him, but at the same time, I also kind of felt he sort of needed to buck up and pull it together a little. He’s not new to swimming; he wants to do these meets, and he knows there are wild ups and downs in this sport and this is all part of it. Can’t cry over a little spilled milk- you have to get back up there and go on to the next race.
He continued “whining” a little bit, so finally I suggested that he go tell his coach that he wanted to scratch the last event. (Knowing full well he would NOT do that, because his coach would HIGHLY disapprove of that, unless he were ill or something.) Of course, he said he wasn’t going to do that, so he finally kind of huffed off to line up for his race.
That last race turned out to be the redeeming race of the day! He ended up dropping over 3.5 seconds for a big personal best (and he had actually just dropped 1.5 seconds on this event at the last meet, so he really wasn’t expecting to improve more again just 2 weeks later). I was so happy for him and felt like despite the not-so-good rest of the day, this was what it’s all about. He dug deep, pushed through, didn’t end up wallowing, and it paid off. I was so proud of him for persevering.
I asked him afterwards how that felt, and he was all smiles. He said, “Well, I was just feeling kind of irritated before the race, so I guess I took it out on the pool.” Haha. I told him maybe he should try getting angry or irritated before every race! lol. 😉
Now, on to Thanksgiving week! I feel like I have a gazillion things to do and I’m trying hard to just stay calm and organized.
I am grateful for making it home safely yesterday. Road conditions were really crappy for at least half the drive- intermittent snow showers created almost white out conditions in some spots and random slippery areas… was SO HAPPY to pull in my driveway last night.
12 thoughts on “Disappointments/ perseverance”
I was a swimmer growing up, and I love reading about your experiences as a swim mom! I love that you seem so supportive but not overly invested (I mean that in a really nice way- my mom used to track all of my splits, keep tabs on my workouts etc- I did NOT like all of that attention and I think it caused a lot of unnecessary tension between us). I’m happy Asher pushed through and that he feels comfortable enough to share with you!
Also, my kids are 1 and 2 (almost 3)! I can’t imagine a day when I would drop them off at a POOL and leave. Lol. But I know that day will come. Just hard to envision!
Oh, I’m so glad you left this comment, because after I posted this, I was worried that maybe some of this swim stuff would be totally boring to other people! haha!! So I’m happy to know you don’t find that to be the case. 🙂 And yes, it is pretty amazing to just be able to drop him off! And just the fact that he’s experienced with meets and doesn’t need any help to get ready/ packed/ etc anymore (besides writing on his arm). I think swim parents especially run the risk of sliding into the “overly invested” territory, based on things I’ve seen and heard. And I will admit that when Asher was younger and getting more “into it”, I felt that pull, too. But as he’s gotten older and we’ve been through chasing state cuts, missing cuts, getting cuts, great swims, DQs, and everything in between, I think I’ve learned that the best way is to not really go too crazy on it all! lol. Trying to just look at the big picture and let him lead the way!
Aww. What a great lesson – I’m proud of Asher (AND YOU – well done, thinking on your feet and leaving the responsibility with him).
And that fireplace and Christmas decor look so cozy.
Totally understand what you mean about the chit-chat, too. As an introvert, I find it very exhausting, especially in a group context.
It put you on a tough position indeed, and you did great! Let him choose and to deal with the consequences. I’m glad to know that it turned out great and he learned an important lesson!
Oh, what a good way for the meet to turn out! So pleased for Asher and for you. My daughter just started swim team for the first time this year and it is a whole new world! I am not sure how it’s going to work out, yet. (She has yet to swim in a meet.) But I am reading everything with great interest, including the stuff about staying away from the rest of the parents haha!
Exciting! I hope she’s loving swim team! It definitely is a big adjustment and very different from many other sports. We’ve been in it quite a while now, but I remember being new and feeling rather overwhelmed by it all.
I am always so impressed when people have to make these parenting decisions on the fly like that. What you did was exactly right – letting him make the decision, but making it pretty clear what you thought should happen – and look at the great results. Way to think on your feet and be a great parent.
Also, I would be the anti-social sort who started reading my book. Because I’m a true gem.
No shame, I whip out my phone, read, and ignore everyone on the soccer sidelines. It’s long! What can I say 🙂
I would not want to chat w/ people either! I am fairly outgoing but I don’t like small talk w/ people that I don’t have a relationship with. I would likely be the antisocial person reading my book or something like that.
I’m glad he rallied for that final race and had such a great race! You handled the situation super well! It’s kind of nice to be able to put it back on the coach knowing they will not allow him to scratch. 😉
Ugh, 3-4 hours of chitchat does sound exhausting.
I am glad Asher pulled himself together. I mean, all of us, who workout and compete don’t always have the best days. I’ve bonked races, but the important thing is to dig deep and not let this prevent you from trying your best. And a little frustration/anger has never hurt any performance IMHO 😉
Your ability to parent on the fly is impressive. There are so many reasons I am glad I did not have kids – and this kind of situation is one of them! I would not want to be in the same spot, under any circumstances. So go you, and go, Asher. And also, does ANYONE actually LIKE Chicago traffic? Because if so, they’re lunatics…
Haha, I’m not sure I’m so impressive!! Mostly I feel like I have no idea what’s going on and what I’m doing. 😆😆 Fake it til you make it, right? 😜