This is a rough time of year for swimming families.
Most Championship meets for the winter swim season are in February and March, and that means that in the weeks leading up to those championships, there are a bunch of other swim meets for kids to swim in and hopefully get the qualifying times to go to championships.
Most meets this time of year are two or three-day meets, and they are divided into sessions based on swimmers’ ages.
Each session usually lasts between three and four hours with between one and two hours of warm up before the meet starts, and you are supposed to be on deck fifteen minutes before warm up begins to check in.
So for this weekend, the meet sessions were scheduled like this on Saturday and Sunday:
5:45 a.m. check in
6:00- 7:00 a.m. warm up
7:00 – 11:00 a.m. prelims (this means you swim in the morning and if you finish in the top 24 you come back later at night to swim that event again in finals)
10:45 a.m. check in
11:00- 12:00 a.m. warm up
12:00 – 3:00 p.m. prelims
Number 5 and 7
2:45 check in
3:00 – 5:00 timed finals (this means there is no “finals” session later in the evening)
Number 3 and 4
5:15 p.m. check in
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. warm up
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. finals
That is what my Saturday and Sunday this weekend looked like.
We had a very similar weekend three weeks ago.
I would be at the pool for over fourteen hours each day between all the sessions.
The kids would not be at the pool that whole time.
This weekend I had a hotel room about ten minutes at the pool since the meet was about an hour away from our house. I had my parents and my husband scheduled to shuttle people back and forth so that Number 3 and 4 could get some rest before they had to come back for finals and so Numbers 5, 6, and 7 didn’t have to be at the pool for fifteen hours.
Three weeks ago and this weekend I had a strategic plan put into place for both of these marathon swim weekends.
Both weekends I was looking forward to seeing the kids swim, but I was a little disappointed with how thinly I had spread myself, and I knew I was going to be completely shot by the time Sunday night arrived, and I’d spend most of Monday with a “swim meet hangover.”
And you know what happened three weeks ago?
Number 4 got sick and had to scratch out of the meet on both days and then we had an ice storm so I took Number 5 and 7 out, and we went from a weekend from hell to a nice quiet weekend where I didn’t have to go anywhere at all on Sunday.
And then this past Friday, Number 3 got sick.
He had to scratch out of the meet this weekend so the need for the hotel room was now gone and I cancelled that.
And then there ended up being an unexpected conflict for Number 4 and she didn’t swim at all today. And when she didn’t swim at all today, I decided to just pull the little ones out of the meet because they are only 7 and 9 and I had really only registered them to swim because the older two were already going to be there.
In any case, two hell weekends were completely turned on end because different kids got sick.
Just the girls swam yesterday, and I was only at the pool for about nine hours instead of fourteen.
That’s still a long day, but in swim meet terms, it’s way more manageable.
So I got to see these three swim together.
But then we had today totally off.
Rather than spending the day on the pool deck I spent my day in my pajamas.
And I feel bad because nobody wants their kids to feel crappy, but I have to admit that part of me was relieved.
Maybe it was just a coincidence.
Or maybe it was the Universe intervening when I had overscheduled us all somewhat unnecessarily.
And unless it’s Olympic Trials on the line, I’m gonna do my best to not require the Universe’s intervention again.