The End of Swim Season…

May 25, 2014

in Boys will be Boys, Swimming

santiago freshmanLast night officially ended Andrew’s inaugural high school swim season. It was bitter sweet. So glad we don’t have to do anymore 4:30am practices, but sad to see it come to an end. As a parent, this season has provided so much growth as an athlete and as a young man. he was literally pushed to his limits but he persevered and proved to himself he can do it.

Andrew’s never really had that “team” experience. We told him at the beginning of the season that playing a high school sport would change his life for the better.  He would make life long friends and the memories he made with those friends would be the ones he would remember for a lifetime. I’m not sure he really believed us until last night when he had to say goodbye to some of the graduating seniors.

He was heartbroken.

These kids took him in, nurtured and included him and made him a better athlete by the example they set. Swimming is a rare sport.  It’s the only one that you spend 95% of the time face down in the water. It’s lonely and isolating, but you bond with each other nonetheless. You bond over the pain, the fatigue and the grueling schedule. Swimming is a sport that never gets cancelled. You swim through rain, snow or hail. There are no “take it easy days” because it’s too hot. You practice in the day light and under lights. You practice until 10pm. You practice at 5am. There are no excuses. If you get tired, you can’t stop.  You push further than you think you can, because you don’t have any other options. Your only break, your only reprieve, is to get to the wall. The only people who truly understand how hard this sport is, are the swimmers themselves.

And that understanding creates a bond that few can break.

Andrew realized last night how absolutely blessed he was to be able to swim on such an amazing team. These kids, geesh, I can’t say enough about them. To swim side by side some of the best and most talented swimmers in the county…that’s an honor. To watch them and learn from them…what a privilege. He’s a better swimmer just because of those kids and the most amazing team of coaches you have ever met.

As a parent, it’s tough to see your kid struggle. Watching him try to figure out how he was going to accomplish all he wanted to and still come up short was heartbreaking. He had to learn how to prioritize and he had to sadly let some things go that were just too over whelming at the time. For as proud of his as we are of him as an athlete, we are even more proud of him for keeping his cool when the pressure was thisclose to toppling him. He fought through it, just like you have to do in the pool to get to the wall, and he figured it out. The end result wasn’t one he envisioned but it was one he is pleased with. That’s really all that matters.

1 Margie May 26, 2014 at 8:10 am

Way to go Andrew! You made your mark, next year will be even harder but just as rewarding. I’m proud of you.

2 Sandi May 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Margie- Thank you! It was a roller coaster ride but so glad how he responded and got it done. Now it’s time for Finals…looking forward to beach and pool days this summer!

3 Laurel May 26, 2014 at 3:25 pm

What a great experience AND accomplishment for Andrew AND he couldn’t have done it without supportive parents AND friends! Go Buffalo GO!

4 Sandi May 26, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Lola- Thank you! He really stepped up his game this year! Nice to see him get his game face on, especially after all these years when he was just out for a Sunday swim!

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