Monday, August 18, 2014

Speaking of athletic endeavors...the kids did a triathlon

Well, they planned to do a triathlon. A rainy morning nixed the biking portion, so they ended up with a duathlon. They were bummed about that, but it was good enough. Still pretty cool. They all loved it and felt proud of the accomplishment, they started talking right away of doing more of them. We're going to need a bike rack.

Remember how Lydi wrote "Lydia's on swim team!" on her arm?
I love that she also wrote "triathlon" on the tag of the t-shirt she got.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Swim team follow up

This was a great year for swim team. Maybe the best one yet. It was a good thing for each kid individually for different reasons. The benefits for Lydia I've already mentioned, but I'll come back to her in a minute. I don't want to overlook how awesome the boys are too!

For all of the kids, I've loved it when they join the swim team because it takes them from an adequate swimmer to a strong, confident swimmer. Once they've got the basics down, swim lessons can't even compare to the benefits of spending an hour every single day in the water for two months. Receiving instruction, being motivated to try their best, bonding with their teammates...go swim team!

Ben (and Emma, who wasn't actually on swim team, but came to practice most mornings to run) I think were most benefitted from the social aspect. Ben's already a great swimmer, and he did take his lethal breaststroke to the next level this year, but I was most grateful for the vehicle that swim team was to help him and Emma develop some great, positive friendships with some really good kids. I couldn't stop smiling when I'd watch them play cards, play younglife, or just hang out while the younger kids swam.

Josh needs motivation. He is one who tends to coast along whenever possible, he doesn't really like to do hard things. Swim team gets him up and moving and working and following through and exerting, and for those reasons it is a great asset for him. He also has a lot of fun and continues to improve, he destroyed his old personal bests in every stroke this summer. He also took on the IM for the first time. The IM! And he killed it.

And Lydia, oh Lydia. I still get teary when I think of how far she's come. Her fear is 100% eradicated, she's like a little fish now. She finished off the season consistently coming in first in the first heat of backstroke, and usually second place in the first heat of free. At the end of year party she got the Most Improved award. Of course she did. Love her.

Did I mention the coaches? Special shout-out to coach Rachel, who held Lydia's hand and led her right along that journey of improvement, and coach Drew, who was a great teacher and at every meet gave the kids specific feedback and really helped refine their strokes.

All of those reasons and more are what made it worth it. It's a lot of money, it's a LOT of time, it's getting up at 7am most of the summer (and you know the special relationship I have with sleeping in), it's a 15 minute drive away, but it is worth it. Every penny, every minute, every missed z, every mile on the odometer. Well spent.

[some of the parents took photos for the entire meets and put them on our website. it was nice to have a couple of people doing that. these are mostly their shots, I only brought my big camera to one meet]

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Metcalf Bottoms, 2014

One fine Friday we met up with some friends from swim team and spent the day doing all the crawdad-catching, cold-water-floating, big-rock-jumping things we like best. The older group of kids added exploring to the list. Their favorite thing about the day was the time they spent going beyond the big rock (our previous end of the line boundary), further and further to see what they could find. They seem to thrive on independence these days. Bring it on, teenagers.

I can't remember why Lydia was mopey in this series, but it cracked me up that Afton was
in such a hammy mood to provide a stark contrast.