Thursday, July 11, 2013

Go Stingrays!

The neighborhood right next to ours has a swim team and this year Ben & Grace were able to join. I cannot say enough positive things about it – it was the coolest set up. The season started right after school let out and goes for about 5 weeks. We practiced three mornings a week and most weeks there was a swim meet one evening. It is like having your kids in swim lessons all summer long, but it’s 10 times more affordable and involves all the fun of being on a team with your friends and neighbors!
At the beginning of the season, Ben sort of knew how to swim freestyle, but he hadn’t figured out how to take breaths and couldn’t make it very far. This week (week 5) he has developed breathing skills and can swim freestyle the full length of the pool without stopping.
Gracie is on pre-team, which means she has lessons at a separate time from the big kids and she has the opportunity to swim at meets in exhibition heats (they don’t count) with her coaches in the water helping her. For the first four weeks, my slightly fearful girl would only agree to kick her feet and stick her head in the water while her arms were locked in a Vulcan death grip around her coaches’ necks. I encouraged her sweet coaches to push her a little (i.e. stop letting her call the shots even if it means making her cry). Well, lo and behold, one of them let her go in the water and she figured out how to swim on her own! This is good and bad. Obviously we’re so proud of her and how far she’s come. On the other hand, she can only swim as far as she can hold her breath (about 3 feet), but she thinks she’s Michael Phelps. She has a confidence in her abilities that is in no way based on any sort of reality. It makes taking her to the pool super relaxing (note sarcasm).
Anyway, the point of this post is just to say that we love swim team! I took these pictures at their next-to-last meet. :)
B & G and one of their coaches.
Gracie & her teammate Madison.
Ready for warm-ups!
Maybe a little too warmed-up.
Grace on the starting block for the 1st time ever – NO FEAR!
And she’s off! Her swim cap is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. :)
She said, “I DID IT!”
Ben with his game face on.
Go BEN Go!
He said, “Take this picture – V is for Victory!”
The time between warm-ups and the races is for hanging out with friends.
Ben & Elizabeth
(his teammate & kinder classmate)
Gracie swimming her race with help from Coach Collin.
She was so proud of her ribbon!
Ben swimming in his heat.
Getting stronger each time. :)
Hot dogs and snow cones are a great way to end a swim meet!

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