Still Swimming

It’s hard to believe but my kids second season as Arden Sharks is over. This year three Curley’s were swimmers. Next year we think it will be four!

Nick had a great season and even got some 1st place ribbons. Fibular hemimelia seems to matter less and less as he practices and learns more. I know having a stiff ankle must make some technical difference but Nicholas just keeps swimming and climbs out of the pool proud of his efforts. I could not be prouder of him.

This was Christopher’s first year. Getting him to do the swim meets took some convincing. Sometimes his backstroke seemed to take forever but when he finished it to applause and encouragement he felt great.

This year Charlotte won the award for most improved girl 10 and under. We were surprised when she won but looking back it does not surprise me at all. Charlotte worked really hard. It was really important to her to do the strokes correctly and she always did her best. To say I am proud of her would be an understatement. In addition to swimming well Charlotte loved being on the side of the pool cheering for her teammates. I love her spirit and dedication. I admire her.

I missed cheering for the kids for a few meets due to an infected impacted wisdom tooth and headaches that accompanied it. It’s not over yet but the infection is gone. I hated not being there to help the kids but ultimately they were fine without me and that’s a testament to their dad and their team.

I can’t think of the swim team experience without thinking of their coach Chris and his team of assistants and volunteers. This year the team had moved up a division. Last year they were champions. I knew this year would be different but in the most important ways it was the same. Chris encouraged the kids in the same way. My kids were never stressed about the meets. They knew doing their best would be good enough. They wanted to beat their own time most of all. They showed up for their team at times when they didn’t really want to. Again, like last year, they had a positive athletic experience. For a rather non athletic family this is spectacular.

One of my favorite things was seeing the kids encourage each other. At one of the meets Christopher was on the block and about to swim and he suddenly said he forgot how to do the stroke. Luckily Jonah was nearby. He’s a great swimmer and a kind kid. He demonstrated to Chris in a rather silly way how to do it and Chris wasn’t scared anymore. I think the encouragement and distraction Jonah provided helped Chris more than my mommy pep talk ever could. I did the mommy pep talk plenty but it was great to see how the kids took care of each other.

The bonds created, the pride wether they won or not, the improvement in ability, the bravery standing on the block, it all amazes me! I am so thankful to so many people. It seriously takes a village to raise up a team!! Leadership, done right is a beautiful thing. Coach Chris is an awesome leader. His dedication to the kids truly shines through. The assistant coaches and volunteers give so much! So many parents help in so any ways. Leadership is key here too and the Team Mom is one of my favorite people. Steven was head timer for some of the meets. Maybe if my tooth trouble hadn’t happened I would have been able to help more although we still have Bess to keep track of. I think each year will get a little easier and we will be able to be contribute more.

The swim team is an amazing part of our community. We are so, so, so proud to be a part of it. This year Steven joined the pool board. To be honest I offered him up to the pool boards fearless and kind leader. I knew he had skills that could be useful and I wanted him to have the opportunity to contribute in a way other than me volunteering for things and asking for his help.

I think Steven’s been happy to be a part of the pool board because he feels the same amazing gratitude for the community we live in and that naturally makes us want to contribute. When I posted on Facebook about my gratitude for our community and our summer fun, a really dear and amazing contributor to all that I love about this place said it was just what we put out coming back to us. What you give you comes back. I believe it. Thank you Ruth for the reminder and for all the ways you support the swim team and the pool and for being a shining example of what it means to be a part of a community and a kind person!!! That’s everything.

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