Monday, July 29, 2013

Making a Splash

It was about this time last year when Devin came to me and asked about joining a competitive swim team. Like any supportive parent, I jumped in with both feet. And, as you can tell from my lack of posts, it has kept us busy. Since swim season is over, I thought I'd recap the experience.

It really has been a great experience. Devin has improved as a swimmer and learned a lot about himself. The goal for beginning swimmers is to improve their personal bests each time they compete in an event. And Devin did that each meet. I got to watch him work hard at practice and see it pay off in competition. I was so proud of him. I saw him go from a first heat swimmer to a final heat swimmer in only 10 months. I got to see him win a few heats, which was priceless. I could go on and on. Yes, I'm a proud mom.

Devin learned a lot through his hard work. He also learned through his failures. Things didn't always go swimmingly, but he bounced back. The season got long, but he hung in there. The meets start early in the morning, but he never complained. He had to give up his free time, but he stayed dedicated.

One of his greatest accomplishments came this summer. He was moved to a new group with a new coach. Practices got longer, more frequent, and harder. He was swimming in crowded lanes with kids who were stronger and faster than he is. Swimming stopped being fun. He wanted to quit. But, he didn't. The going got tough, so he got going.

I remember watching him at practice one day. He had to swim as hard as he could just to keep the other swimmers from running over him. I almost felt sorry for him. But, I knew the thing he didn't know yet. I've seen him in this situation before, where he's the youngest or smallest on the team having to work twice as hard. And I knew it would only make him better. He saw it too when his team hosted the Carrollton Invitational a few weeks ago. He smashed his best times in each of the 7 events he swam over the 2 days.

Devin was once again reminded of what happens when we push ourselves, when we don't allow a fear of failure to keep us from trying. It's one reason why I'm such a champion of sports. The lessons they teach will last a lifetime. I hope this is a lesson that stays with him.