July 3, 2012

The Little Swimmer That Could

She stands 48″ tall and she’s only 6 years old. Her little butt is so small that we’ve nicknamed it the “tiny heiney ” We don’t normally sit around talking about our daughter’s butt; however, when she’s trying to find a competition suit that fits, the tininess of her heiney becomes a big issue when you combine that with her height. After three years of being dragged to swim meets for her sister, and having to listen to long conversations about how amazing and wonderful “Swim Girl” did at her meet this weekend or that weekend, Sassy has finally arrived on the competitive swimming scene.

Last year, she spent the year working on stroke refinement at her swimming club. The previous spring, we had to remove her from the program because she was not yet ready. During the past year, she did two dual meets for fun. At the first one, she pushed off from the wall, turned around and asked her coach what stroke she was supposed to be swimming. Between that one and the meet a month later, she dropped about 20 seconds of time. (It’s amazing what happens when you just swim and don’t have to ask for directions.)

This summer, she decided she wanted to swim on the summer team. We have a very big, and very competitive swim team and she showed up in the 8 & under group worried about how she’d do. We were worried she might get lost in the shuffle. But she hasn’t, not one bit.

After two laps of freestyle, she was put into the more advanced group of the 8 & under swimmers. During her first meet, she swam in three events and did quite well. Although she was exhibition in both 25 freestyle and 25 backstroke, she came in first in both of her heats, easily. She also swam in the free relay and did really well. (Lane 1-closest to the camera.)

On Friday night, we took her to her first invitational meet. It was a long course pool so instead of swimming 25’s, she had to swim 50’s of both freestyle and backstroke with no wall to grab onto for a breather. She swam her 50 free in under a minute, coming in 7th place overall in the 8 & under division, ahead of many 7 and 8 year old swimmers. She swam her backstroke in a little over a minute, coming in 7th place overall and beating many kids who were older than her.

Last night she had another dual meet. I was shocked to see she was not swimming exhibition. I had a moment of panic, big fish in little pond-little fish in big pond and all, and then figured it didn’t matter. She’s 6. Let’s just see what she does.

She ended up coming in 4th place in the 25 free and 3rd place in the 25 back. Her free relay won 1st place by a good 25 meters at least, and that was with two of the relay swimmers (Sassy included) waiting to jump off the side until they were really sure the other person had truly, indeed, touched the wall.

After living in the shadow of her sister for so long, she is finally making her own little waves and I am so incredibly proud of her and all of her hard work. She has a couple invitational meets coming up and I am hoping and praying she does well enough to earn at least a ribbon. She has approached it all with such a winning attitude that she really deserves it. The little sister no one ever saw coming, is here.

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