I had 14 years as a competitive team swimmer. In all of those seasons, never did I experience more thrilling joy than I did watching you this season. It wasn’t just the growth, the improvement, or the utterly staggering time drops of the last two weeks (utterly, staggering, as in you dropped over 142 seconds across 18 races in the last 8 days). It was watching you decide that you’re DOING this. You put your head down and worked hard, every practice. You became a great team mate and peer. You became someone your coaches can count on. You faced anxiety, and even when you were afraid - the 100 fly, the 200 fly, the 400 IM, the 500 free, every event - of the discomfort and sometimes pain that the effort requires, you faced it. You never backed off, never gave less than what you had. You found grit, self discipline, drive, and the desire to meet goals. You learned to lose and win with grace. In short, you discovered in yourself everything I know that swimming can uncover in us. The last two weekends have been among the most satisfying in my life as a mother. So far!
All of that said, your days of Gatorade, pizza and round the clock rice crispy treats are over my son, and you should plan to resume dishwasher and trash take out duties, beginning tomorrow. The clean clothes in the basket still need to be put away, and tomorrow you will make your bed before you go to school. You will read without complaint every day this week. Swim season is over (for now), guy, and this Mom is putting the hammer back down.
Thanks for the thrills, Finn. In my 39 years of loving swimming, I don’t think I’ve ever loved it more. I’m absurdly proud of who you are.
Your #swimmom ♂️