I'll preface this by saying that I don't see myself cheering on any of my swimmers in an Olympic venue. But I am so proud of them and even more, so happy for them as they've seen what hard work can do this summer.
Last summer he could move pretty well through the water. This summer he's smokin'!
He's been swimming first heat in freestyle for three meets now and first heat in breaststroke in two meets. Most exciting part is that he's been placing and scoring points for our team! Since these picture were taken he's collected a few more first and second place ribbons.
It's pretty exciting stuff!
And speaking of exciting...this little guy has had us on our feet at the edge of the pool!
At the beginning of the season, he needed his mentor to have hands on him at all times in the deeper end of the lanes.
And then suddenly, one day it clicked. That purple ribbon in the front represents the first meet he swam 15 meters of backstroke unassisted in a meet. And not only did he swim it alone, he WON the heat.
AND that fifth place ribbon on the right? Well, in order to get a place ribbon, you have to swim first heat...as in the scoring heat. And my little guy has swam in two first heats now in freestyle...against his six year old brother. Not bad for a four year old born with a severe heart defect.
We are grateful to New Day Foster Home every day for the gift they gave our son in early intervention with heart surgery. What a difference it made in his life!
Our little DQ has been all smiles in the pool as well.
At the first meet she was selected to swim first heat in backstroke. That night fear struck and she panicked just before getting into the water. Later she cried as she told me, "Backstroke is just so hard for me Mommy and if I'm in first heat I can't have a mentor."
Not wanting to create stress in her summer life, I talked with the coaches and asked them not to put her in first heats again until she is comfortable.
And then the day came when she swam backstroke in a later heat and was the heat winner. Safe to say our little girl has her swimming mojo back.
She hasn't gotten back to first heats just yet, but her speed is increasing and she's excited of how easy backstroke is for her now.
And then there's "Cautious Kylie."
The one who pretty much burst into tears at the first practice with the thought of swimming the 25 meters without a mentor. The one who cried when she started learning butterfly. The one who grumbled before each practice about how they had to swim 8 lengths of free and then a 100 IM as warmup.
Then the ribbons started rolling in. Some for her as an individual and some as part of relay teams.
She's not swimming first heat in any of the strokes yet, but she has shaved off significant time from time trials...like over 12 seconds off fly alone!
And just this week both coaches stopped Ian and I to tell us how she's got a really beautiful and strong freestyle stroke.
There are still some grumbles about practice...but it's mostly because her age group starts before the other kiddos and she's my sleep in queen.
I probably won't be watching my crew at any Olympic or even collegiate venue...but I sure do enjoy cheering them on as my summer swimmer legends!