This weekend Flash had her first ‘main’ meet for swimming. The main meets have qualifying times and are for swimmers 10 yrs and older. Although Flash has only just turned 9, she qualified to swim many events at the main meet and she wanted to give it a go…to see what it was like swimming with the big kids!
It’s the winter season in Australia, so all the swim meets are short course (in a 25m pool) which means lots of turns….turns are not Flash’s favorite element of swimming and swimming in this meet would mean some really valuable competition experience.
On the first day Flash swam really well, making some PB’s and finishing about mid pack. She knew she was swimming against girls who could be almost turning 11, so Flash was quite happy with the way things were going and she was having a lot of fun! ….in fact she demanded that I enter her into the second main meet in two weeks time!
On the second day of the meet were her two favorite races….the 100 IM and the 50 fly. I thought her best chance for a medal in this meet was in the 100m IM as she went into the race with the 4th fastest time. Flash swam a terrific race and cut 3 seconds from her previous best time to finish in the bronze medal position.
Unfortunately, Flash was given a disqualification for doing an incorrect breaststroke to freestyle turn (She didn’t touch with two hands first).
This was Flash’s first disqualification in a swim meet and I could see in her face that she was very disappointed…..I think she really wanted that 3rd place!
We had a big talk about how disqualifications are a part of swimming and it happens to everybody. How the most important thing is to learn from her mistakes for next time and that the races are a learning experience. We talked about how executing a race well is more important than times or medals…and if she can break the race down and think about each element she has to do, than the times and maybe the medals will come…
After a 2 hr wait (quite a long wait for a 9 year old) she was itching to get back into the water….her last race was the 50m fly, and what a race it was. Flash went in to the race with the 7th best time but she managed to finish second! She swam the race in 38.09 which was a 4 second PB!...I just couldn’t believe it! Flash was so happy to have won herself a silver medal!
So, I spent the most part of Saturday and Sunday, time-keeping or sitting on those rock-hard benches at the AIS pool…but it was so worth it! But not for the reasons you might think.
It wasn’t worth it to see her come back and win an completely unexpected silver medal after missing a medal through disqualification…..it was worth it from this conversation…
I was talking to some other parents about being excited to watch the up-coming Olympics. Flash piped into the conversation to tell us that she was going to go to the Olympics….One of the Dads said “…Oh are you??....” and Flash replied
“…I’m going to the Olympics to win a medal so I can throw my mum the flowers…..”
…and THAT is what makes it all worth it!