Friday, July 15, 2011

(43-353) Nicky's Turn

Tonight was Nicky's turn at the swim team (Semi) Championships.  I guess I really should call it the championships because that's what the league refers to it as; but then what do you call the final meet that only the top 8 swimmers and two alternates qualify for?  I've heard someone refer to that meet as the finals, so if we're going with that, then tonight Nicky swam in the championships.  That sounds confusing to me and I WAS there, so I'm sure that must have caused a re-read or six, but hey - what's the name of this blog?

So the way that it worked was each swimmer could choose three strokes to swim in.  Then all of the people in the league that chose to swim that stroke, were put into heats and lanes based on their best time in that stroke.  They didn't call the places out, because the city of Glendale was kind enough to run our meet and brought with them, their electronic timing machines.  In addition to the machines, there were two time keepers on every lane, and they had to press a plunger like device when the swimmer reached the wall, as well as record a time per a stop watch that each lane duo was provided with.  Go ahead, ask me, you know you want to .  Here I'll help, "how is it that you know so much about the electronic score keeping and what's involved"?  AND you know you know the answer to that one, so just go ahead and say it, "I know because the coach requested that my friend Kailene and I be timers in exchange for a parking pass, which precluded us from having to park in East Jabib; AND free cold water."   Sorry, I know I was telling you about the meet and got carried away by my FREE stuff.  So anyway, after each of the heats, the kids went to the awards table so that they could be presented with their appropriate medal.  Afterwards, all of the times from each heat of a particular stroke were calculated and the kids with the eight fastest times in each stroke, were the ones who had qualified for "the finals" on Saturday. 

With this knowledge in his pocket, Nicky was nervous about today's meet.  Both Luis and I reassured him that this wasn't a big deal and that he'd be fine. But he's his mother's son and he worried.  Nicky's first race was the 50 meter Freestyle, for which he came in 5th and was very dissatisfied.  Nicky came over to us and he looked like he was on the verge of tears.  I tried to comfort him, and tell him how proud we were of him, but he was still too frustrated with himself to hear it.  A while later Luis decided to take a walk over to where Nicky was, to try and get him to think positively and try his best.  He came in third for breaststroke, and although he did better, he still wanted to come in first.  I explained that he had done beautifully, and he'd come so far, that he should be thrilled with himself; and I think that he wanted to be, but he just couldn't.  Not too long thereafter, we found out that Nicky had qualified for "the finals" by coming in 6th overall.  And finally he cracked a smile.

Feeling good about himself, Nicky swam in his last race - the butterfly.  He was doing very, very well and came in third, but they disqualified him for doing a Breaststroke kick at some point during his race; and that sent him right back into depression mode.  I implored Nicky to focus on the positive, and what he'd achieved, as opposed to concentrating on the negative, and what "might have been."  But sadly it's not his nature to do that.

When all was said and done, Nicky had qualified to swim in the finals for the Breaststroke, and that is a big (yes) HUGE accomplishment.  I'm so proud of him!  And while I'm busy being proud, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Kelsie actually qualified as an alternate for her age group Breaststroke.  Kelsie had come in fifth for the race, but she had the tenth best time in the league, which is why she's an alternate. 

I think that we've all learned some valuable lessons during the course of this swim team season, and I can't wait to see Nicky (and possibly Kelsie) swim in "the finals."  No matter how they do.
Till next time...

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