Today we finished up the final meet of the season.
It was a three day meet called Eastern Zones Championships, and it’s a tiring meet both physically and emotionally.
We weren’t planning on going to it until about a month ago.
Since it was kind of a bonus meet, Number 4 especially was just out to enjoy herself.
Unlike the meet we were at a couple weeks ago, Number 4 put no pressure on herself.
One thing kids often don’t realize is that when you don’t put so much pressure on yourself, you are relaxed, and you swim much faster than when you are overly focused on what time you get or what place you get.
At Age Groups two weeks ago, Number 4 was a little bit of a mess. She was stressed and emotional and really hard on herself, even though she swam really well. She wasn’t having a whole lot of fun.
And that’s kind of the point of these meets. Kids want to do well, and obviously you want them to swim their fastest times, but they should also be having fun and not having meltdowns when everything doesn’t go perfectly or the way they had envisioned it.
So this weekend here at Zones, Number 4 really just had fun. She was totally her old self.
She moved up to a new coach this year, and he had never really seen her so relaxed and having so much fun at a meet.
On the first day of the meet, Number 3 still had all his events to swim, but Number 4 was done. She came back to the hotel with a friend on the team and hung out with her and had fun.
She went swimming in the pool, ate approximately 14 Rice Krispie Treats that I had hidden in a bag in the closet, and discovered — since our hotel had free coffee and hot chocolate 24/7 — that she loved hot chocolate mixed with coffee.
Hot chocolate coffee, as she called it.
The second morning of the meet, Number 4 had to be at the pool at 7 a.m., but Number 3 didn’t need to be there until about two hours later. I wanted to let him sleep in a little, so I drove Number 4 to the pool and dropped her off, and then came back to the hotel to get Number 3.
At 7:25 a.m. I got a text from Number 4’s coach.
No more hot chocolate coffee for Number 4.
I was laughing so hard. She told him that backstroke was her spirit animal.
His next text said,
She came on the pool deck screaming, “I AM SO EXCITED TO SWIM TODAY!”
Number 4 had been having a little anxiety this year at swim practice and meets, so I was so happy to hear this.
The old Number 4 returned this weekend.
And as we wrapped up the meet and were getting ready to leave, Number 4’s coach said to her,
“You’re a hoot. Keep being you….
… you know. In moderation.”
The crazy, fun, energetic, hilarious, frustrating, and exhausting Number 4 was back on the pool deck this weekend.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.