As the mom of a freshman college swimmer, the role that I play in her beloved swimming has changed so dramatically these last six to seven months.
Of all the great treasures of swimming, nothing is more important or profoundly character-defining as how an athlete responds as a teammate.
My daughter is home on winter break from Davis & Elkins College, her first semester as a student and an NCAA athlete is done.
In this decade and a half of being a swim mom, I’ve learned so much about sportsmanship, winning, losing, and embracing the moments.
For my entire lifetime as a parent, I have been a swim mom. I can probably count the races that I have missed on one hand and always for reasons out of my control. Until now.
This weekend we took my baby to college, set up her dorm room, and she begins a brand new journey as an NCAA athlete.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a swim mom. Summer League, high school, USA Swimming: they have filled my family’s lives with such profound joy, cherished friendships, and life lessons about laughter and loss.
Today is my birthday. My 14th Year as a swim mom and I’ll spend it at a meet.
Soon it will be May and the final days of your senior year will be a memory. They are flying by at a rapid pace with every week bringing a new last time.
As I near the end of my age group parenting for a swimmer, I’ve had many conversations about what constitutes success in the sport of swimming. I mean real success. Because at the end of the journey the medals and ribbons will be put away, the special cuts will not matter, and you’ll be left with memories.
If you are a young swimmer or a parent who wonders sometimes if there are better ways to spend your weekends, evenings and money, the answer is absolutely not. Not only will Swimming change your child, it will also profoundly impact you.
Last week was another milestone in my daughter’s long swim career when her school held a signing ceremony for athletes headed to college for their sports.
I’ve been around the sport of swimming for a decade and half including summer, High School and USA Meets at many levels. Next year I will be able to experience college meets as my daughter becomes an NCAA swimmer completing the circle.
We are swim coaches and parents everywhere who are longing for the chance to see you race again, hide out in the locker room from a tough set, or leave your wet towels everywhere. We are used to getting up at 4 am and we secretly love it.