Bayli's swim team started their summer training sessions this week. She normally trains for an hour in the evenings, which she was just getting used to the last few weeks. Now, the classes are an hour and a half (mornings or evenings), with the exception of Tuesday and Thursday mornings which are two hours. Seriously, I know!!!
We knew that with all of the changes and new situations she has already been facing with her swimming, we better not tell her. So the first session she attended was on Monday evening. Chase had lessons half way through so we were unable to watch all of the goings on. When we returned for the last 15 minutes, Bayli was swimming along pretty slowly with a kick board. After her series with the kick board, she could barely pull herself out of the pool to put the board back. She got back in the water to start the next series of laps. I immediately recognized that she was beat, in the I am about to have a mental breakdown kind of way. Her coach saw it at the same time as I did and pulled her to the side to talk with her. I overheard their conversation and it broke my heart. Her coach asked her if she was tired and needed a break. She told her to sit on the bench and get a drink. Bayli was fighting back tears, my poor little softy. She hadn't seen me yet. She told her coach, "I think that I just want to find my mom." They turned around and saw me and she immediately ran to me and started crying in my arms. I felt so bad. I hadn't prepared her for this. I hadn't told her that it was okay to tell her coach when she was too tired and that it was okay to stop and take breaks. Her coach was wonderful and told her that she would never be angry with her if she couldn't finish swimming and that she wanted her to tell her if she ever felt like it was too much.
Bayli had a pretty good little breakdown on the way home. We talked about all of her accomplishments over the last month. We talked about her wonderful coaches who have been so great in figuring out her abilities. We talked about her love for swimming.
She decided not to swim the next day as she had planned.
Yesterday she went to the evening session again. She was better prepared, we had a game plan. She put her towel on her team bench rather than leaving it in the bag with me. I would watch the first 35 minutes and would leave to take Chase to his lessons. She knew to listen to her body and tell her coach when she needed a break. I had told her that if she needed to stop that it was okay, I would be back for the last 15 minutes either way.
From the warm up I could tell that her coach had thought about the kids' abilities as well. She had geared things down a bit and was having them work at a slower pace. I love the coaching staff!!!
When Chase and I returned, Bayli was still swimming. She looked tired, but was still pushing herself. When she finished, she walked to us with a big grin and said, "I wanted to see if I good go the whole time, and I did!" Then she said, "my legs hurt SOOO bad!"
We did some serious rolling and massaging on her quads, she had worked her hip flexors pretty hard.
Her original plan was to attend the following 7 am session (2 hrs) because they do dry land activities and she didn't want to miss that. So we worked out her kinks last night and told her that we would see how she felt in the morning. After a rough night with Lily, no one wanted to get up. But, Jed had set his alarm and was prepared to take her. We had to wake her up at 6:15, she was pretty tired. But, she was eager to get ready to go.
She had a blast today. She did an hour of dry-land activities (running, strengthening exercises, and weighted balls) then swam for an hour.
It is so amazing watching your children develop their talents. I have loved this journey with her. She has been able to decide her
goals for herself, with a bit of guidance from Jed and I, but mostly
from herself. She has grown so much over the last month. She has
gained so much confidence already. And, she has discovered that it is
okay to do your best, work hard, and take a break now and then.
Her journey has helped us as well. It has helped us to know when to tell our kids what to do, when to guide them, and when to let them figure things out on their own.
As exhausting as this swimming thing is on all of us, I don't think that any of us would trade it. It has strengthened our relationship as a family. Even the little ones can sense that, they are just as eager to be a part of Bayli's swimming. Chase told me the other day, "mommy, when do I get to go to swim team?"
Whether it is swimming or something else, I hope that Bayli (and all of my kids for that matter) will always know that their family has their back and will be there to support them no matter what, because that is the greatest gift of a family.