Sunday, June 26, 2011

Re-entering the Swim World

swim season

Today’s ‘real life’ isn’t particularly funny or soul-baring, but it is certainly real life, nonetheless.

Sixteen years ago, I met Russ at a swimming pool. He was managing. I wasn’t swimming. (But that’s another story.) Russ had spent the previous 9+ years breathing the chlorinated pool air. He was on the Albany high school and age group teams, competed through college (Willamette University in Salem), life guarded, taught swim lessons, led swim exercise classes, managed pools, and coached.

He managed/coached/taught at the Lakeview pool (for the third year) during the summer of our long distance relationship. Right after we were engaged, he took a position coaching in Reedsport on the coast, where I joined him after we were married. We soon moved back to Albany, and he found himself coaching the Lebanon age group team. Basically, we spent our first few years together at swim meets until the road of our life curved in a different direction.

I figured there would come a time when we’d be back. That day was today, at Levi’s first swim meet… In (and for) Lebanon where Russ used to coach.

Levi's 1st Swim Meet

Since Levi has only been swimming with the team for a few weeks, our expectations for this meet were very simple. We hoped he would start and complete each of his two events without any major catastrophes or emotional melt-downs. Mission accomplished. I think he really enjoyed the experience, as well.

Did I mention something about coming full circle? Yeah. Russ’s high school swim coach and mentor (someone who had a huge impact in Russ’s life) is now the pool manager at Lebanon (after coaching many years out of state). My absolute favorite moment of the whole morning was watching Russ and Coach Arzner watch Levi’s first race. Russ said that out of years of coaching, he has never been so nervous as when Levi started his first event.

That full circle thing again? Yeah. Russ has been swimming with the team during practices and signed up to compete in three open events at this meet. Not only that, but a high school swim buddy (and one of the groomsmen at our wedding) is now coaching his son’s team. They attended this meet. And his son swam against Russ. How’s that for full circle?

Russ and Coach Arzner/Russ Swimming

Nicely done, Honey.

Russ Swimming

Levi's 50 Free: (He hasn't had much practice on the starting blocks, so he started from the edge instead.)

Levi Swim Start Levi Swimming 50 Free

I can tell you this parenting two little boys and a baby at a swim meet is a completely different thing from being the coach’s wife. Lola is entering the very wiggly stage. She is less and less content to sit in once place. (It didn't help that she was soooo tired.) Anyone recognize the "I don't want to be held" flopping body? She did enjoy 'using' the stopwatch, though.


Luke took this one (and about 3,749 more):

Me (by Luke)

And the very proud swimmer:

Levi and Lola

I guess this is a sight we'll be seeing for a long time to come.

swimming pool


Nae and Clara said...

Love this post. We've done swim team for the first time this year with our son (age 7) and while he has learned so much, and it's great exercise, it is pure torture to have to keep his (3) sisters entertained during a swim meet, Now he wants to start swimming year around...

Love your blog especially the real life posts. I'm due with #5 in a two months so I certainly need some real life encouragement. Clara

Heasleye said...

Nicely done, Levi and Russ!!! And Heidi, for watching the races and corralling the other three! :) I love all the connections and circles you shared...amazing. I hope we get to cross paths with you in the swim world, too! Enjoy!


Unknown said...

I love your blog and I love the new real life posts as well. Haha at that "I don't want to be held" flop! Universal baby language. My son is four and he is going to be taking swim lessons for the first time this summer. He's already swimming under water and seems to be happiest there. He's the child that terrifies everyone around him because he stays under for an impossible amount of time. I may have swim meets in my future as well!

chicago_mom said...

i love the way he's holding her. My sammy grab's his sister between the legs like that and leans way back since she's so big now. Haha.

I've read your blog for a long time but I've been on a blog-reading hiatus for a while.

Your daughter is beautiful.

Swimtaxi said...

I enjoyed reading about your swim life. I couldn't help but think back to when my children first started going to swim meets.