Friday, July 18, 2014

Just keep swimming....just keep swimming....

So I totally thought I would be able to sway my girls into playing softball or basketball like their mother. We gave it our best effort... but only boys play basketball in our city (picture 5(?) year old Bella on the basketball court with 9 boys.... can you see it? Yeah.... Bella just stands there, no surprise that we only went to one game!) and softball is one of those super competitive sports, the coach had us practicing three times a week, with at least 2 games a week. AND if your kid didn't show initiative, they got put out in the outfield, picking wildflowers.
But we wanted them to be active, so we tried several different sports and a few years of dance. A kid from church was on the GP swim team and I'd thought it might be cool..... my kids have been swimming for forever... Bella was almost 3 when we moved into this house and Aube was just over a year. They're practically mermaids. So putting them in swim lessons, to learn the correct strokes, just seemed natural.
They both started out in like Level 2 or something like that... and quickly progressed, tho they repeated level 3 a few times and Aube decided she didn't want to swim anymore, so she sat out for awhile, but gladly went back to it when we started sitting at swim practice for over an hour... boredom wins!
When they made the team the team was practicing for their Winter Season. Swim practice was 2 hours, 2 days a week with meets on Saturdays. Bella & Aube participated in the Winter Games in Frisco and several other meets thru out our Region.... which is mainly Plano, Allen, McKinney.... nice little drive!
In May, they moved practices to an outside pool and with school being out, they practice Monday-Thursday for two hours each night. Monday and Wednesday they swim the 2 hours, practicing technique and their coaches help them correct bad form and what not. On Tuesday and Thursdays, they do an hour of landwork....exercises, woot! (you can bet the girls LOVE those days) and then the last hour is spent in the pool. Holy hard work, y'all. I'm so proud of my girls for not putting up a fight, or at least not that much of a fight, when it comes to swim practice. They have such a knack for it.... and are both different in their technique. Turns out, Aube has quite the competitive streak. At the Carrollton meet a few weeks ago, she just turned it ON.... I'll never forget that moment.... and if you saw the video, you can tell by my reaction that I was one proud momma.... proud and shocked!
And then on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have our Bella... she perfects her strokes and is so strong.... but she will swim the same speed in a meet as she does in practice. We have yet to find her trigger to make her use that power we know she has! She's such a strong swimmer.... she just doesn't get that you have to put everything you've got into your race, that she's only up against herself.
It's so wonderful to see them swim, to put themselves out there like this.... every meet I go to I'm simply amazed.
Their daddy is quite amazed, too.... he swam in high school, his brothers swam (Uncle Topher was quite the swimmer - the girls were able to go to some of his meets when he was a Senior) and their Papa was a swimmer, too. So, it's pretty neat. Daddy is able to give them some great advice, too!
There's our Aube in lane 6. This is at the Summer Frisco meet.... they have a fabulous facility with bleachers and warm up pools. (FASST - Frisco Amateur Summer Swim Team - nifty)
Frisco also has it together at these meets.... it's so organized, I don't ever feel worried that the girls are going to miss their heat. (Swim team also comes with new vocab: heats and events and such&suchthoseareactuallytheonlytwoicanthinkof)

Other meets are not so organized.... for example: Plano. Whoa: crowded, hollering, swimmers walking around everywhere.... and not to mention, hot. H.O.T.
Plano did have a cool splash pad that they kept running the entire night... so the kids had a ton of fun!
Aube's very last event was the 100 IM....she swam a 25 of each stroke: breast stroke, back stroke, butterfly and freestyle. This event took place at like 10:45 pm (Did I mention that swim meets are LOOOOOONG??? Ohmyword. They started the meet at 4:30pm. Uh yeah. And when we left at 11:30pm, they were still going) But since it was so late, the youngest kids and kids that only swam certain events had already left.... so I got a front row view of Aube swimming. Probably not the best idea, I could tell she saw me and would smile bc ....of course.... I was hollering like a banshee. The lil girl in the lane to the right is Katy... she's one of Aube's best friends and since they're the same age and skill level, they race against each other a lot. (Side note: Katy's a coach favorite, the team sweetheart... so James and I are even more competitive when they're swimming against each other...I probably shouldn't admit that... it's more of our little inside joke... but we like to point out that Aube is a few seconds faster, heh)
Aubree & Katy....
Did I mention that our swim team is made up of like 85% Vietnamese kids? It's the strangest thing...I knew our city is very diverse... but there's just so many! Yes, I know, I know.... racist Sarah strikes again (I'm not racist, I promise!!!) but I'm just intrigued, that's all. And the parent's bring the tummies egg rolls to our team swim parties! (heh..... need to put a quarter in the jar)
This weekend is the A Regionals meet and next weekend in B Regionals. These two meets mark the end of summer swim season (the girls are ecstatic.... they don't realize they only get August off, then we start back up for winter swim! Jokes on you, fools!)
Aube is amongst the oldest in her swim category (girls 8&under) so she is one of the fastest. Her time have qualified her to compete at A Regionals. Grammy & Papa are even flying in to watch her swim... it's a pretty big deal (esp for a little girl who started out not wanting to be part of the swim team). If she swims fast this weekend.... she could qualify for STATE. Whodathunk.
Bella kicked it into high gear at this last meet in Plano last weekend... but it was just a little too late. She shaved 6 seconds off her butterfly.... which is AMAZING. (Seriously, seconds are SO important) But it just wasn't enough to qualify for A Regionals. So she will be swimming at B Regionals next weekend. She's been asking questions about A vs B and whatnot.... and I think it's sunk in that she's got to push, push, push (or pull, pull, pull in swim-verbiage) to get the time she wants. I know she can do it..... so I really hope it's clicked and she can keep the momentum. The girl has an a-MAZ-ing starting dive.... in every race, she is farthest out and in first when she comes up out of the water. It's so neat to see.... but then when she starts the stroke, she's swimming like she's in practice.... so we've been telling her that she's got to puuuuuulllllll.....put everything into it. Being tired and winded at the end of the heat is a GOOD thing. Bring on that strength. I know she has it.
Swim has been so great for our girls.... we hope one day Jax will finally pass swim level 0 (he's on his 5th time failing it bc he won't listen, lil punk) and put all that energy into zooming down the length of the pool.


Danielle said...

That is so cool!!! So proud of "our" girls!!