Saturday was Pie Girl's first swim meet. She started lessons last summer. I was a horrible mom and didn't get her into swimming lessons until she after she was already 8 years old. But luckily she has a lot of her dad in her and she really took to swimming. She didn't have any fear or reservations about the water. If the teacher said to try something, she would immediately do it. When we would go to the lake with the kids, her dad would spend a lot of time telling her of things to try like diving to the bottom of the lake or swimming out to the buoy and swimming down its anchor line to the bottom of the lake. There was a lot of talk of the bottom of the lake.
So when I was looking at what sports the kids would like to do this summer I knew Pie Girl has loved swimming and our local Aquatic Center has a summer swim team. I signed Pie Girl up. She was ecstatic and I was worried. The children have to swim the length of the pool without stopping and I didn't think she would have the endurance yet to do that because she has never had to. So I then signed her up for private swimming lessons. She had a blast! After listening to me lecture her about how she is not there to talk she is there to listen and then do whatever the coach said, she has swum her little heart out. She has been going to 3 swim practices a week that last just over an hour. Add that to the 1-2 sessions with the private coach and she has really been dedicated to this new love.
But she has been worried about the swim meet. She has never even seen one and had no idea what to expect. She kept worrying about having to swim in the deep end and going off the diving board. She wouldn't listen to me or her dad that she wouldn't have to do either.
Saturday dawned bright and early. The swim meet is for the summer swim team is only between the teammates. There is no other team that comes and considering that this team has over 150 kids that was a great plan. It started over an hour late and then her first race came up: 25 meter freestyle. Then it was over and Pie Girl had not raced. Turns out they forgot to call her name. This left her in tears and worry that she wouldn't be able to race. Never fear, the next race came up and she was called: 50 meter freestyle. She did wonderful the first 25 meters. She didn't stop to adjust her goggles. She didn't wander out of her lane. Then she turned at the end of the pool to come back and she swallowed a lot of water. This completely threw her and the last 20 meters was very hard but she didn't stop. She kept going looking half drowned but determined. I was very proud of her.
Her last race was a few minutes off so her and a couple from her division made up a cheer for their purple team. "Give me a P! Give me a U! Give me an R! Give me an P! Give me an L! Give me an E! What does that spell? PURPLE!!!" They did this a couple of times and then one of the coaches suggested changing the word they spelled to winner and say 'What does that spell? PURPLE!!!' She thought this was the greatest joke. "Get it mom?"
The next few races flew past and then her last race was called and she got into the water to get ready. The 50 meter backstroke. This is her race. She has not learned to breath well with the freestyle so she cannot just throw herself into it but that is not the case with the backstroke. She was solid and focused through the entire race. There was no problem turning at the halfway point. She didn't slow down at all. She was able to complete the race flying high. She came in last but I could not be more proud of her. And I do not think I have ever seen her so happy as when she came out of the locker room. Her eyes almost disappeared in the grin on her face.