Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Fins, Goggles, and Lessons Learned.

James joined our local swim team back in April. He's had practices twice a week for seven weeks now. Unlike other sports, James hasn't had a whiny attitude about swimming. I won't say he has excelled at it, but he hasn't wanted to quit or skip practices, which is a pretty huge deal for him. He's a little like his mama. We don't like when we have to work hard. #owningit

The first swim meet of the season was on Saturday and we were excited, but we had NO IDEA what to expect. Our coaches have been great. We've seen improvements. However, I don't feel like the meet part of swim team was adequately discussed and he wasn't ready for the events he participated in. Next time, we'll be able to prepare him better because WE will know what we're in for. We didn't have a clue. {Not complaining about the coaches - they're great and I would love for him to do it again next year and Will the year after that! It's great practice and FANTASTIC exercise.}

He was signed up for three events - 25 M freestyle, 25 M backstroke, and 100 M freestyle relay. He got his "tattoo" on and was set to go!

{It doesn't matter if it's upside down when your mama has to read it anyway!}

We went and watched for a bit and then it was time to go!

{On the far right in the bullpen waiting for his turn.}

He finished the first event {he was slow, but he did it!} and hopped out of the pool and we headed back to our tent to wait for the next event. And that's when things went south. He'd already done one event, had time to sit and think about it, and y'all - there were a million and two people there watching. It all just caught up with him and messed with his head.

It was time for his second event. He told me his tummy hurt. While he was waiting he told me he had to potty but it was too late. I told him to swim across and then run to the bathroom. I was concerned we had a nervous stomach potty situation.

James pulled up on the grips, let go when the buzzer sounded, kicked about three feet, flipped onto his stomach, swam back and promptly got himself out of the pool. He DQ-ed himself. :( It was a big, fat, sad part of the day. He cried and cried and cried and CRIED.

...and we still had a RELAY left.

I was so concerned he would DQ his whole team for the relay. We talked it up really, REALLY big and told him it was important for him not to quit and it was just ONE length of the pool and he'd done it already that morning and on and on and on. Whew, we were nervous. We might've also bargained with him a little. Grandmama agreed to take him all the way to another town nearby that we knew had Jurassic World Legos {he's had his eye on them} since we'd been unsuccessful finding them here.

He got up on the starting block for his final event and I could tell from across the pool that he was crying. The girl standing with him patted him on the back. He jumped in, swam a little, and basically pulled himself along on the rope. He was even slower the second time across, but HE DID IT. We were shocked that he got back in the pool again, but HE DID. And that, friends, was the lesson of the day. Bravery isn't doing the thing that is the easiest or even being the best. Bravery is doing the things that we really don't want to do or don't think we can do. He cried the whole way across the pool, but I think he was proud of himself that he finished. I'm hoping he'll do another meet in a few weeks, but I'm leaving it up to him.

 {Can you spot Will? This is where he spent most of the morning.}

We were VERY proud of James for finishing the meet, even after the DQ. I'm hoping that he will grow and learn from it. And until the end of the season, I think we're going to be working on this:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

Stay tuned for the rest of the season. {Sidenote: He went to swim team Monday with NO PROBLEM. Hopped right in the pool. We just think the pressure of being alone in a new pool in a sea of people was HUGE for his little bitty body. He didn't mention being nervous at all for practice!}


Lauren said...

Sounds like he did awesome! Brings back my own memories of swim team growing up!!! Tell James, I got DQ'ed a few times too but just like him (and Nemo!) I just kept swimmin! :D

Anna Catherine said...

What a brave boy!! I'm so proud of him for not giving up and bless his heart because this side of the family isn't very athletic!