There comes a day in every competitive swimmers life where they get the emotion of swimming their first mile race.
And the day has came and went for Bailie. And the days of nerves, fear and panic that lead up to it were a pure joy for both the swimmer and their parent.
This long course swim meet was a big one for Bailie. Her first get out of school early meet. Friday afternoon started with two swims – the 400 Free and the 1500 Free. We got there in plenty of time for the positive check-in, so there was no turning back now. She swam an incredible 400, dropping almost 15 seconds from the projected time her coaches set for her. And she earned a gold time!
Now time to use that positive energy to gear up for the mile – and not let the week’s worth of nerves get to her.
Then the first big challenge arrived. The swimmers learned that they would be disqualified if they circle swim – they would be swimming two to a lane and it was mandatory they stay on their half of the lane the entire time. Then they looked at their seeding to find that although they planned to count laps and time each other, with the number of scratches, they would all be in the same heat. And the mad scramble started to find and meet older swimmers to help them out (that were not already in the water for their own race). So as my daughter stood behind the blocks watching the heats in front of her finish, she turns and asks me what she gets if she swims a gold time. What goes through my head? “Great. Be supportive, Mom.”
So I say “One thing you really want on your birthday list”.
Without missing a beat, she asks “I get to choose between a Gwen phone and an ipod?”
Nice try kid, you don’t get to choose. You get a guarantee.
So a few minutes later, she jumped in a swam her race. Her coach was very happy with her first time out. And half way home, she finally pulled up the time standards and celebrated her gold time. And her birthday guarantee. It took just a moment for her to ask “how can I pick which one I get”. And my quicker response, “Every race this meet is a gold time”. And she almost did it! Either way, she has one proud momma!