Monday, July 10, 2017

What Really Counts!

Those who know us well, know that our family is not huge into athletics.  There's a huge time commitment that affects the whole family, politics and issues at times with coaches and or other players and their parents.  Swim team has been a big exception.  For one, when you live in AZ you HAVE TO learn to swim to survive the summers.  For another, it was a measurable 6 weeks that I could commit to and be done for the year.  We never pushed it, but this year Bud pushed himself and we really could see results.  His best time for backstroke beat the minimum qualifying time by 1.22 secs.  His best breastroke time was just 0.77 sec above the qualifiying time.  It was his big goal to simply qualify so he could be with his friends who have inspired him to do better.  Since he clearly beat the qualitfying time, we thought he was in for sure.  He spent days telling everyone and his friends congratulated him and all was well until just after the Fourth of July.

Pictures from the swim team party .... sugar to fill their wildest dreams!

Apparently there's a rule for the Desert Swim League that only 8 people can compete for each stroke per team in each age group.  For the 9-10 yr old boys, he did not make the top 8 scores, let alone the top ten so he could be a alternate.  There are just that many boys who swim so well in his group.  This all came crashing down less than a week before finals and it was a bitter pill to many boys, not just our Bud.

Awards ceremony

It was also a bitter pill for me as a mother.  I had been hard to get him to his extra practices and pay for the stroke classes, to attend extra swim meets to get closer to that qualifying time.  It was particularly difficult to see that disappointment deaden and dull our usually happy go-lucky boy.
He wanted to continue practices and do the last meet before the competition because he loved the company of these friends so much, but the reminders and discussions revolved around what he could have no part of it was clearly painful.  For days we'd see moments  he'd be fine and then something would bring it to his remembrance and his spirits dropped again.  It was his first truly epic disappointment and he was striving to work through it the best he could.

We talked a great deal about what it meant to be a good sport and in his heart wanted to be happy for his friends but was so pained at his disappointment that he couldn't find words to express himself.  the day of the competition he managed to put together a little video clip to send to two of his friends wishing them luck. 

Such fun horsing around with his friends!  He can't wait till next summer when he sees them again.

I was such a proud Mama at that moment.  It took strength and character to do what he did.  I asked him how he felt after the message was sent and his reply was telling," Still sad, but good too.  I can be a good friend and team member."  And that's what really counts in the end and as far as I'm concerned, he won the championships in ways no trophy could ever really commemorate!  Love you Bud!

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