This summer, the one thing that consumed more hours than anything else was swim team. Elizabeth, Micah and Benjamin swam on the Bryan Barracuda swim team for the second summer. We loved every minute of it!
Elizabeth aged up into the 9 and 10 division. We knew this would be a big jump for her. Last summer, she had been at the top of her division, bringing home ribbons and medals after every meet. This year, though her times improved quite impressively from last year, she wasn't bringing home the ribbons and the medals. She wasn't put on the "A" relay. It was hard for her! She is, by nature, very competitive. This summer, she was able to learn the value of competing with herself and for the team, not necessarily for the awards. We watcher her set her eyes on a goal and work her hind end off till she achieved her goal. She also learned that she and Micah can push each other to be each others biggest competition. But then they also have to be each others biggest supporters. We were do proud of her when she qualified to swim at Invitationals, in every stroke. She had to work hard to make it, but she did it! She also learned how to swim the 100 IM, and swam it beautifully at Regionals.
Benjamin also aged up this year, swimming with 7 and 8 year olds. He has a terrible swim birthday, and was the youngest 7/8 year old on the team. Luckily for Benjamin, he has enough confidence to make up for his bad swim birthday. He hit the pool this summer with determination and with a competitive drive. We were pleasantly surprised when he qualified to swim every stroke at Invitationals. Though he didn't always have a sweet, trainable attitude, he did exactly what his coaches asked of him. And when he saw improvements in his time, he learned that pushing yourself hard is worth it. At the end of the regular season, Benjamin was given the Most Dedicated Barracuda award. Benjamin finished the swim season knowing that not only is he a good swimmer, but that he can become and awesome swimmer when he listens to those around him. By the end of the season, Benjamin, the youngest in his age division, was swimming on the "A" relay.
I am definitely becoming a sports mom, who sees a high value and life lessons in having your children compete in sports. I love that they win and can learn how to do that in a gracious way. I love when they lose and learn how to move past that. I love when the have good practices and see how strong God's made them. I love when the have bad practices and need me to encourage them. I love seeing their eyes light up when they achieve a personal goal. I love when they still need me to hug them after a bad swim. I genuinely look forward to seeing how God uses sports in my children's lives.
We can't wait till next year when all four of the kiddos will be swimming for the Barracudas!