Saturday, July 10, 2021

Ready to Jump (Day 192)

This is our second summer of doing summer swim team at our town pool. All three kids are swimming. 

Lily is training and practicing. She made this very grown up decision that she did not want to compete; but she wanted to get good at the swimming strokes. Lily also knows that her body thrives when she is extremely active--sports and training have taken away her ataxia.

Chloe and Nicholas are competing and while I know their times are not the best--their progression each week is amazing. Today. Chloe shaved several seconds off her personal best in freestyle and breast stroke. Nicholas swam the butterfly in an individual race and a medley relay.  I think the butterfly stroke is the wildest, craziest stroke. He also swam the anchor in a freestyle relay and he was so fast I barely got a video. 

A lot of kids on the team have been swimming since kindergarten. My kids never had any interest until last summer. I like that they are interested and active. I love that they are open to trying new things--even when there are little ones who can lap them--their willingness and openness to be life-long learners makes me feel successful in parenting. There is so much to learn and try in this world and I hope they get to do it all, at least once. 

Chloe is really focused on getting her dive off the block down and her turn at the end of the lap. Mike swam in high school; so I am glad he is there to advise. I was not a swimmer as a kid; at least not on a team. I was quite the late bloomer when it came to diving boards and jumping in. 

When I was a kid, my parents signed me up for swim lessons over the summer at my future high school. CB East had an indoor pool--so the lessons were thunder storm or dry heat, everyday for one week.

At the end of swim lessons, the kids who learned to swim got to jump off the diving board. Everyone was excited about this and every instructor (who was probably about 15 years old, but seemed like big authoritative adults to 5 year old me) was selling the diving board hard. 

I had no interest in jumping off the diving board. In fact, it was the last thing I wanted. I considered not learning to swim--I remember this specifically. I don't remember what changed my mind--but I assume it was because I loved to swim and I wanted to be allowed to swim at the Herman's house more often. The Herman's were our next door neighbors and I could see their above ground pool from my swing set. 

Anyway, I learned to swim and then on the last day, all the parents came and we showed off our skills. At the end, it was time for the diving board. I said that I would not jump off. The instructors told me I would. An argument ensued. I did attend to leave; but could not. I remember begging not to jump in off the diving board. I was scared. They negotiated and explained they'd be there to catch me. I kept saying no.

Then, you know what they did?

They literally carried me on the diving board, lifted me down and it was a whole ridiculous scene. 

I was so embarrassed and angry. 

I wasn't ready to jump.

I never went near a diving board again until I was in 5th grade.  We were visiting my uncle who had an indoor pool with a diving board. We spent two weeks at his house and for two weeks, I jumped off the diving board at least 50 times a day. I remember my Dad remarking that he was shocked that I was jumping on my own and asking me why suddenly I had the courage to jump.

It wasn't courage, it was just that I was ready to jump.

Friends, sometimes the people who love us and support us want to push us to jump, when we are not ready to jump. And while pushes can sometimes propel us forward when we are hesitant; pushes and lifts and carrying can also result in the opposite. 

You have to be ready to jump--all on your own. 




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