There are many times we are called upon to be strong. Sometimes physical strength is required; other times it is emotional or mental. Often, it is a combination of all three.
Hailey has been in the water since the beginning of summer, practicing for the swim team. Her first meet’s times were the best of her season as they happened after a three week “break” between the age group and high school teams. Even though she has been pushing herself both before and after school, she hasn’t been able to break through her 1:04 “threshold” for backstroke. About a month ago she donned her Fastskin and competed at MISCA—and broke into the 1:03’s. A week and a half ago Hailey was at conference—and got a 1:02.8!!! Then she got bronchitis…and her times tanked. In two days she will be competing at state. She is extremely nervous, as she doesn’t know how her performance will be post-sickness. An accumulation of five months of training, hundreds of MILES in the pool, and hours of extra-curricular weight lifting; all for just over a minute of performance. Physically—she has completed her training. Mentally—it is still up in the air! We will be cheering loudly from the stands! Whether or not she gets her PR, she still is a winner in my book. Taking home the hardware will be icing on the cake, though!
Hope has attended swim meets since her first week home. She has gone from NEVER entering a body of water, even for bathing purposes, to allowing herself to stand in a pool with me by her side, to swimming solo. The transition was not smooth—I had to enter the water on numerous occasions to rescue her as she hovered just below the surface, not even knowing to reach out for assistance. This year, however, she decided that she wanted to go out for the middle school swim team! I had hoped that she would, but very much expected her to come home after the first day and say that she was done. Hope even admitted that she had wanted to tell me before the second day that she didn’t want to go back, but after she attended that practice, she was glad that she went back. Before her first meet Hope was very concerned that she wouldn’t know what to do, when to start her races, that she didn’t know how to do a flip turn, etc. For as nervous as she was, I was PROUD! She was not a contender for first place, but she was there, swimming her heart out, next to girls who had been swimming for over a decade. Only 5 months after her first experience of putting on a swim suit, Hope was a member of the swim team, clad in a team suit, swim cap and goggles! She recalls being so scared to try and to continue trying after she saw how fast most of her team was. However, Hailey just told me that Hope is no longer the slowest in her lane! Another miraculous accomplishment by my tenacious teen!
Austin has closed another chapter of his high school career. Last weekend he performed in and closed the high school performance of Our Town. He loves being in theatre—I guess when the theatre bug bit me decades ago it was passed on to my son! Anyway, he is not an emotional child normally, but he admitted breaking down between performances on the last day. It was difficult for him to regain composure to start the next performance; his voice was shaky and his makeup smeared. It is hard closing a chapter of something that was fun and dear to him, especially since he doesn’t see an opportunity to continue it in the future. One thing that can be said about Austin—he did act well his part, and there all the honor lies.
I hope you have an opportunity for an encore performance, Austin!
So, for my swimmers and my master thespian, allow me to say “Well Done!” I am so proud!
All my best,