Monday, June 23, 2014


The Coop in the middle and leading the pack.
I observed something in my oldest this weekend. Something I liked, but can't really describe. But I think it was grit.

He is such a good little breaststroke swimmer. Really. This is not me bragging. He is good at it. He's a natural. His body was made for it. He loves it.

The other strokes are just warm up for what he considers the big race. Because the Indiviual Medley -- or IM -- includes the breaststroke he likes that one too. Saturday, however, he DQd in the IM. After absolutely improving in every way on butterfly, he settled into a questionable pace for backstroke and then -- and this will be all swimmer-y and technical -- he flipped an illegal turn on the back to breast transition. Guh. And he knew it. So the rest of the race was just painful for him.

Out of the water he put on a good face. I actually thought to myself, "Oh I guess Coop IS a 9-year-old who swims for fun. This doesn't bother him at all." Plus, I'd like to point out, he caught up his first relay team to ensure a win, won the breaststroke, placed in the 100-meter freestyle, and swam up with the 11-12-year-olds in the 4x50-meter freestyle relay to win. This one DQ out of five very successful races seemed like peanuts.

Then Sunday rolled around and we went about our business. A family walk cut short by a going-away party at the swimming pool. None of the other kids are swim team kids. So I knew Coop would get in some relaxing play in the water.

When I showed up to take him home, I found him away from the group and in the lap pool. The kid was swimming his turn over and over and over, again. I had to tell him he was wonderful. Get out. Rest.

Some of us have this. This drive to practice so much that we not only do something perfectly, we never do anything but perfect. Some of us don't. Coop has two gifts. He was given great turn-out and a body for breastroke. But he also has the gift of grit. It's the second I admire.
Swim team friends are fun friends!

1 comment:

Claudia said...

Breaststroke was always my favorite. Way to keep at it, Coop, even though for this one time, it didn't go your way. You are awesome! I hope we can see you compete someday!