I wish for a lot of things but tonight I wish I could get excited again about swimming. I don’t understand why I don’t enjoy it anymore. I used to be a complete water babe, swimming for a club until I was about 16, then only really stopped my 2-3 miles a week when I had my eldest child. It’s supposed to be really good for me, both mentally & physically so why does it make me grumpy & emotional? Physically I feel like I’ve done 20 rounds in a boxing ring not 20 lengths of the pool. If it wasn’t for the fact I would just be sitting for 3 hours watching the boys swim for their club & ‘pinning’ stuff I probably wouldn’t have got back in the water. The only thing that makes me feel good about it is that I can get into the ‘fast lane’ & pass the same person twice in the time it takes them to do one length!
I remember when I used to swim at the Aquatic centre when we first moved to Canada. I was pretty fit then, but, I would often have to move from the fast lane into the medium lane to use my kick board. I think if I swam there now I would just about survive in the slow lane. It is a 50 metre pool, which I used to love because you didn’t have to tumble turn as much. Maybe it was psychological, but I always thought I swam further because the lengths didn’t seem much longer really. Not sure how I’d manage 20 lengths of a 50m pool now.
Like I say, it can only be good for me, & maybe I’m expecting too much of myself. In my head my body can still do everything it did before, but in reality it needs to find a new level for the way it is now. It makes me feel old & crippled, even though I’m not really. It’s good that the boys club night makes me do it, & I think it sets a good example to them for the future.
I’ll keep going…
It is only in the last year or so that I am discovering the different types of ‘sports’ parent that are out there. I think the first time I began to observe parent behavior towards their budding young athlete was actually at a Track & Field meet last year. My elder son was in grade 3 at the time & had never done any track & field prior to entering that grade. As you can imagine it was competitive but in a fun way for that age group. In fact, my son came 5th in shot put that year, which was fantastic, & we expressed how proud we were, thinking it were the luck on the day… then he came 2nd at the same meet this year!
So what is my point, & what did I observe? Well…
- The ‘OTT serious I am living my own dreams through my child parent’ – They eat, sleep & breathe their child’s sport. Can irritatingly fuss over their child before they compete. Talks to them as if they are in the Olympics & appears more nervous & uptight than the child themself. Discusses equipment & training with other parents like they are stupid, & ensures the child NEVER misses a training session – even if they on a ventilator in the ICU!
- The ‘Interested, supportive & encouraging parent’ – Allows the child some space & promotes independence. No mollycoddling here, the parent will be there but the child must learn to take charge of their training with the parent watching from a safe distance, & always ready to step in when help or guidance is needed. Usually very friendly, chatty people who will enjoy & make the most of the adult social side to the sport.
- The ‘I like to be seen to be supporting my child’ – Will always be there appearing to supporting their child but really they spend the entire time their phone or tablet, or talking to the supportive chatty parents nearby. They can usually hold a conversation about the sport but are rarely able to be more specific about their child as an individual. They often have trouble identifying which one is theirs.
- The ‘passive’ parent – drops their child off at training or event, leaves, returns when training or event is over.
I would like to think that I am number 2. I have definitely not ever & never will be number 1. I have possibly been guilty of number 3 once, maybe twice, & I hope I am never number 4 (my parents were number 4 so I know how that feels). Tonight at swim club there were 3 number 3’s in front of me on the bleachers. I have them to thank for tonight’s post. At first it was amusing to watch/listen to, but after a while I found it quite sad that they couldn’t identify their children in the water, or, knew that they have 30 minutes of stretching after their swim session. They all appeared to have been on the club scene for a lot longer than me, & that wouldn’t be difficult as this is our first season, so they really had no excuse.
Despite sitting & writing quotes in my little quote book I was glancing up frequently so observe my boys progress & behavior. I knew that younger child had gone to the washroom & not returned for 10 minutes. Slightly worried I almost sent big brother in to see if he was ok, then I saw his head pop around the door when he thought his group was finished. When he realized they had 2 more lengths to do he retreated back into the changing room. The monkey later admitted he didn’t want to did the exercise his group were doing so he hid till it was over – which is what I suspected. This, among other observations I made throughout the session were discussed with both boys on the way home. They now know just how much ‘watching’ mum does even though she appears not to be looking.
Of course I am being very tongue in cheek about all of this, but have a look around, I bet you too find some of these parents at your child’s sporting practices & events.
I swam today. It has been so long since I’ve been in the water so it was really hard work, but I did it. This, I hope, is the start of some serious rehab. Since starting Humira exactly a year ago I have felt ready to do something more than just pilates, it is the best biologic I’ve been on so far. Swimming has always been my thing. I swam for a club from the age of 7, & both my boys have just joined a swim club. That’s why I got in the water while they were training instead of sitting on the side for 3 hours. Apart from feeling like I was 94 not 44, I did a whopping 22 lengths. All was well until I got out…
My pool shoes have stretched & have been sitting in my bag for years. After showering I was drying off & chatting to a lady who was about to go into the pool. As I lifted my left leg up to dry my feet (because I can do that now all by myself!), I forgot how tired my right leg would be. It didn’t like having all my weight through it so I lost my balance a little & the pool shoes slid without taking my lower leg with them. I felt something sort of ‘snap’ in the area where my tendon had to be stripped & then repaired. I can’t begin to describe the intensity of the pain for that few seconds; it brought tears to my eyes.
A short while later, back on the side of the pool I could feel it stiffening already. I texted hubby because I knew he would want to know how my first session had gone. As he rightly pointed out I should be proud of myself for getting back in the water after such a short recovery time. I am obviously still healing & have scar tissue – which is what he thinks might a stretched not the tendon itself. When he looked at later at home there was some bruising, so I must have torn something. Bloody typical, it wasn’t even while I was swimming. Needless to say the pool shoes went straight in the trash.
Fingers crossed it will be a short lived set back that will require a little bit of rest, a lot of icing & tons of red wine to help it get better!