It was a good day.
My alarm is set for WEEKDAYS at 6am. (I didn’t even know you could do that!) The big boy and girl got themselves up and out of the house by 6:20 am. Yes. A.M on a Saturday. I arrive later just in time for the team cheer. My boy led the chant and the mosh pit that followed. To quote him,”they was crunk” and ready to rumble.
There were 86 races today. Hundreds of kids. Our team alone had over 140 swimmers ranging from little 6 year olds with “eat my bubbles” written in sharpie in their backs right next to their names to 18 year olds swimming their last summer before they headed for college. Parents had tents set up trying to hide from the sun. Team moms had snacks galore to keep swimmers energy levels up. The air was electric.
Our boys gathered under the tent with friends and played a rounding game of BS while waiting for this races. Swimmers dropped in and out of the tent–teammates in the fall and competitors in the summer. They were loose and excited and READY!
My 13 year old girl got to swim up on a 15-18 year old relay…twice. She’ll never forget how sweet those big girls were to her. My girl was powerful in the water and held her own in both relays, her IM and the back. She’d been out of the water for a year but she fought hard with every stroke. I watched her be poised and calm behind the blocks. I heard her say,”I am so proud of myself…” Which, as a mother, was music to my ears.
My fella and his team donned red-white and blue speedos (gulp) and attacked each race with gusto. They cheered one another on. They yelled cheers and chants that meant nothing to anyone but them. They egged on younger swimmers and generally had a blast. That’s what summer swim is all about.
In the stands parents cheered for others children. We were the barracuda family today and anyone in a red cap was one of our own.
Swimmers are amazing athletes. They have the grace of dancers, the strength of years of training, the technique of those that coach them and fighting spirits. They take to the blocks on a whistle. They stand at the ready for the buzzer and they explode off the blocks and give all that they have be it for 28 seconds or 2 minutes. They fight the fear of losing and the certainty that white clad officials will disqualify them for even the slightest of mistakes. And they do it all in skimpy bathing suits. They swim for personal times but they care most about the swim they swim for. Their times are their own but their hearts belong to the name on their caps.
It was a good day. Today, after a 10 year drought, the county trophy belongs to the barracudas. It’s the first win for the team since my fella started swimming. It was a better day for the friendships that were formed and the memories that were made.