Saturday, May 14, 2011

May Meet: third time is a charm!

Another May Meet with our swim team has come and gone! Our third May Meet but our first with three official members of the Hong Kong Island Stingrays Swim Club, The twins have long been welcomed on the team, primarily because of their enthusiastic cheering for their sister during practices and meets. Adam in fact used to act as a timer at practice meets. Finally he started coming to time in his swim suit and jumping in the race whenever there was an empty lane. Royce too has swum in past May meets but never before in the official team suit and cap. The gear made all the difference.
Perhaps it was our official status, but all kids bettered every single time. Royce started the action fast and furious with her 100 IM. She did the first 25 fly much faster than usual. She touched the wall in first place. Her loyal supporters were almost shocked into silence. Phil walking from one end of the pool to the other to get the photo had to definitely pick up the pace. Royce kept it up all weekend, earning including the most coveted, for its instant gratification, heat winner ribbon. She was thrilled and immediately started calculating her chances for overall high point awards.
Adam had a number of good swims, working hard on improving his notoriously low slow dive. On the blocks, Adam would look over at me, acting as the starter, and wave. I would motion him to put on his goggles and then we would get that race going. Adam was one of the very few 7 year old swimmers on our team. As soon as he was done racing the 7-8 year old boys, he would go back to the gym and hang out with the 9-10 year old boys. The big boys were perhaps the secret to Adam’s success. He was very keen to get out of the pool quickly and get back to boys his own size.
Tori had some fast swims, taking 10 seconds off her 100 IM and off her 100 free. Both times she turned to me, and gave me a little nod and thumbs up. It was all very understated and very Tori. Tori took all of her races very seriously, getting to the pool at 5:50 am for her warm up.  A friend and her parents picked up Tori and they did the early warm ups together, sans me. I was working on the pool deck the entire meet and never made it into the gym to help Tori get to her races. She has got all the procedures down pat, perhaps even the attitude. At the end of the meet, she told me she wished the May Meet was every weekend. I asked why? Without a second hesitation, she answered “the racing!”
At the end of the long weekend, all the kids, plus swim team friends, came home to our apartment and jumped in the pool. They swam a few more hours while I sat in a daze by the pool. The longer we stayed in the pool more and more kids from our swim team wandered down to the pool. It was nice to see that despite the pressure, the anxiety, the awards or lack thereof, the kids still enjoyed it. The kids might be doing long butterfly sets most days but they still can rally for a game of Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows. Not the end of the innocence yet, thank goodness.


Blogger sasha said...

Привет! Как дела! Напиши мне:

5:57 AM  

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