Oh how I was NOT into swimming carnivals when I was a kid. Actually, being a not sporty type, I didn’t like vacation swimming. I didn’t like swimming carnivals. I remember the nervousness, being half naked at the end of the lane ready to swim, thinking how far it is to the other end, the whole school watching…. I just didn’t like water when I was young. I blame it on an incident when I fell into a friend’s pool on a trike when I was too young to remember.
So our girls had their swimming carnival this week. A note came home confirming what events our kids would like to swim. They’re not really strong swimmers, but our 9.5yo had put down 50m backstroke, 50m freestyle and 50m breaststroke. I thought to myself – OMG, can she even swim that far without stopping? So last weekend I brought them to Beatty Park… not really to train their stamina or speed.. but just to make sure they can swim the distance!
Last year wasn’t such a great year for my 9.5yo. She came nearly last in everything but it was ok – we encouraged her and it’s the taking part and being part of the team that matters right? Psychologically, it really isn’t that fun when you are always last. She just didn’t have the motivation to swim fast even though we said “Swim faster!”
Well this year was different. Maybe she’s more motivated… or we just kept hammering into her to try to swim faster, as if something was chasing you 🙂 Our 9.5yo’s first race was a 25m novelty noodle race. And she came second! Woohooo!! She was really excited and happy! But the best was when she came first in the 50m backstroke. When she finished, she looked around at the other lanes quickly to figure out what she had come, and the joy on her face was worth it all..
But the surprise was our 8yo who took part for the first time in the swimming carnival. Really only an optional thing for the Year 3’s, our 8yo daughter has a more sporty physique than our 9.5yo, and it showed – she just powered through the water and won 2 events! Thanks to her “man muscles” as she describes herself 🙂
In the end, we told the girls it’s all about participation… but there’s no harm celebrating getting a place or win!