Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hanging up my badge

Based on the title your initial thought probably was that this would be my farewell to blogging post.

Trust me, I've considered writing such a post many times, but something keeps drawing me back to blogging despite my frequent and lengthy breaks.

Your second thought might have been that this is the post where I announce I'm quitting homeschooling.

Trust me, I consider that possibility on an almost hourly basis, but God keeps giving me the strength to last another day and another year.

No, this post is where I declare I am no longer a swim team mom.

Anna's last swim

I've mentioned before about our struggles juggling two full time sports. Last September Anna made the decision to focus on track over swimming. She loves swimming, however, and wanted to pursue a couple more swim goals, so she decided she would finish out the short course swim season and then quit swim team for good. It made for a very busy fall and winter.  So much so that there were probably more sighs of relief than tears when she had her final meet last weekend.  But there were definitely a few tears along the way, both of sadness and frustration.

She almost met her goals for the season: She got the time standard she wanted in her 200 breast stroke and got to attend the Division 1 meet she was aiming for and dropped more time there. She missed the time standard in her 100 breast by less than a third of a second {heartbreaking!}, so she wasn't able to swim that event last weekend. Her relay team at the Division 1 meet also missed a team record by 7 hundredths of a second (she dropped time on her split though - yeah!). 

Anna went to a final practice on Monday, bringing over a hundred homemade chocolate chip cookies for her friends.

Some of you might be rolling your eyes, thinking I'm being a bit dramatic. I'm not trying to be over-emotional about this -- it's just that I really love watching her swim. It's a wonderful sport that was good for our family in so many ways. It's a particularly good sport for homeschoolers and offers some flexibility that you don't find in team sports.  We've also learned some valuable lessons through swimming that I wouldn't trade for anything. 

It takes a disciplined and motivated person to be a competitive swimmer. At this age a swimmer really needs to be in the pool at least five to six times a week, so they must learn to make good use of the little free time they have. A swimmer becomes good at setting goals and determining what needs to be done to achieve them. Anna has been able to apply this discipline to her academics and in running track.  Not so much with doing her own laundry, but we're working on that. ; )

Some might say that I'll still be a swim team mom since all three kids still plan to swim for their summer swim team this year. I would argue that while summer swim team offers a glimpse of the competitiveness and discipline of year-round swim team, it's not the same. A swim team mom does not get her badge until he or she has paid more in one month for swim team expenses than the monthly mortgage payment (for us, usually every August) or driven her child to a 5:00 a.m. practice in a blinding snow storm. If you live in a warmer climate a tornado or hurricane is sufficient. A true swim team mom has a highlighter and sharpie in possession at all times (for marking up heat sheets and for the swimmer to write their events on their leg or arm). A true swim team mom doesn't mind driving 7 hours to attend a meet in which your child swims less than 7 minutes.  

Oh, yes, as a tired mom, I was ready for it to end.  But it still makes me sad.  Good thing spring track started this week, so we never had a chance to find out what having loads of free time is like. {sigh}


  1. I've often wondered how you have kept up with it all. I know I couldn't have!!

  2. I really admire you for all you do for your kids. I admire you all for making a hard, but wise, decision, too.

    Congrats to Anna (and Mom too) for being so disciplined and always working toward those goals!

    I am sooo glad you're not hanging up your blogging badge. Yes, you did scare me. :) (Even though I consider it daily myself, lol!)

  3. perhaps Anna can give Caleb pointers on how to give up a sport, lol. : )