I am the lucky mother of five daughters, four of whom swam competitively for YMCA teams from 2004 to 2018. I spent many hours driving to multiple practices each afternoon/evening, along with hours spent all weekend on the bleachers, cheering them on. Although it was a huge commitment, and often times a real challenge to be multiple places at the same time, it was well worth it. The time commitment necessary to swim competitively was really good for their everyday life – it kept them in great physical shape, and also forced them to be more focused when it was time for studying. We have so many great memories of practices, swim meets – both home and away, and time in the car.
My youngest daughter graduated from high school in May of 2018. Because of my volunteer commitments for two amazing organizations take up so much time, I found that I was not able to continue my regular exercise routine. I have been working out regularly since I was in high school. In June, I decided to go ahead and try the Masters swim practices. Because they are so early, I could get the practice in, and then get on with my day. I hadn’t swum laps since high school when I swam to keep up for the soccer season, and it took until about October for me to feel like I was in the groove of the practice. I still found it difficult to get up so early, but once in the water, was extremely happy to be there. Learning how to navigate through the sets, practicing with like-minded people and experiencing the team comradery, and feeling so good when getting out of the water…..what’s an hour?
The most fantastic experience was my first meet. It was at our home YMCA, PCY, and it was a long course sprint meet over the Christmas break. My husband let one of my daughters know that “of course I’ll be there to cheer your mom on,” and wouldn’t you know it, all 5 of my daughters came to support me. It was a moment of sheer pride to have them behind my block when I dove in to do my 50 free. I could hear them yelling “GO MOM” as I began racing down the lane and I was smiling on the inside. All of the coaches were beaming as well since they know these past swimmers.
Joining the Masters team has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in the last couple of years. I feel great in every aspect: physically, emotionally, and accomplished at the end of each practice. Now to get faster!