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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bringing home the gold.

My Olivia had her first swim meet today. She has been training on the developmental team for a year and finally moved up with "the big dogs" so it was an exciting day for her. Though she likely didn't place, she established her entry times, learned the ropes of knowing when her heat was up, and so on. All in all, a fun day.


I competed in gymnastics when I was her age and it was such a fun time in my childhood. The coach would pick us up in the YMCA van and off we'd go, sometimes a half hour away, sometimes 2 hours away. We'd be gone all day and our parents never knew how we did until we returned home late in the evening (I only placed on 2 events my entire first year, so you can imagine how encouraged I was after the first meet of my second year, when I came home to report that I had placed in every single event and had placed 2nd all-around as well.)

How things have changed. In my day, it was a personal commitment, but not so much a financial commitment. Sure, there was a YMCA junior membership to purchase, and the expense of practice suits (team suits and warm ups were provided).
The coach drove, and we stopped for fast food on the way home. There were very few expenses involved.

Today?

Parents have to volunteer 4 times/year (per family). We had to sign up to bring food items. $5 per person to attend the meet. $5 for a program (A program? We never had programs before). A fully stocked snack bar was open for business (including Subway sandwiches for sale). Really? Because back in the day, I had to hit the candy machine for M&Ms, banging on the glass when the Archimedian screw failed to plop out my chosen treats. But today, apparently it's "all out". They were even selling meet tee shirts for $10. We did have shirts made for our regional meets back in the day, but regular season meets? No way. The whole experience, from a worldly perspective, felt a bit over the top to me.

But not from the perspective of watching my sweet girl compete. She has worked so hard to have her own lane. And she was so very proud of her efforts. A few of the kids came off their events crying because they were unhappy with their times or because they finished last in the heat. And who knows, maybe those days are yet to come for my kids too. But for today, it was simply a wonderful moment in my daughter's childhood; a moment where she gave her all and smiled ear to ear over her efforts. In that regard, I'm happy to say we brought home the gold.

Live wise in Him!

~Toni~

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