Monday, January 9, 2017

Life Lessons from a Toddler

January 9, 2017

My son Z. He amazes me every single day. The way that he looks at things, the way he smiles at things, the way he tries to figure out how things work or why they are doing whatever they are doing… He is constantly learning. Every day new words and phrases like “have a good weekend” and “mommy wake up” come pouring out like they have been trapped in there waiting for the perfect moment to make us laugh. There were days where I thought he would never roll over or crawl… and now he is a running, jumping, climbing machine! I have absolutely loved every single moment of these last 22 months as “Z’s Mama” and wouldn’t change it for the world.

One year ago today, my 10 month old started swim lessons. We signed up for a parent/infant class and had no idea what to expect. My goal is to assure that he is safe around a body of water, as I 150% feel that all kids should know how to swim at least enough to stay safe in the case of an emergency. I do not want him afraid of the water. I grew up with a swimming pool in my back yard. I learned how to swim at a young age and while I am not winning any metals at the Olympics, I was able to pass a lifeguard level swim test at girl scouts when I was 13 and I can certainly hold my own in a body of water. Z took to the water instantly and loved “swimming” with me and singing songs and splashing about with the other infants.

This is us at Z's first lesson 1 year ago. 

As with everything in life, time is flying by quickly. My 10 month old is now 22 months. He has since “graduated” to the parent/tot class and proclaims, “going swimmin” when I put him in his suit.  He shouts “the poooooool” as we drive up to MWCC on Saturday mornings. I am no longer wrangling a slippery infant after class, but a little boy is quickly emerging before my eyes. However, he is a toddler, he is curious, he is unpredictable, you never know if he will want to play with whatever it is that is presented that day or if he is going to just want to ask for the ball (that Mr D hands out at the end of class) for the entire 30 minutes. It’s a crap shoot. However, its one bet I am willing to take week after week to assure he learns how to swim.

This Saturday morning will hold a special place in my memories. You see, we haven’t been to swimming in about a month. The last class of the last session was canceled due to snow, than we had Christmas and NYE fall the following 2 weekends. We arrived, got changed and headed to the deck as usual. He sat like a big boy as we waited our turn to get into the pool as other kids were pulling their parents to the edge. I got in the pool and told him he had to “safety slide” into the pool like we have been practicing week after week. He sat on the deck, put his hands to the side of him and slid right in like a pro. He laughed as he splashed me and Mr D showed us the barbell we were using for class. Then he reached for it while it was in his hands. Mr D took a que from that and grabbed his hands and I let go. I watched my little man kick his little feet and get pulled around with his arms over the barbell. As Mr D spun him around to see that I was not holding him and his face lit up with a huge smile as if to say “Im doing it Mama!” my heart melted. He is such an inspiration to me. He was so proud of himself… and so was I.

We spent the rest of the class kicking and swimming with the barbell. Then we practiced climbing out by himself and safety sliding in. Once we did that a few times I let him do a few of his favorite jumps from the edge. He stands all by himself and we say “one, two, three… JUMP” and he jumps off the edge into my hands!! Such a big boy!!

The whole experience makes me look at things that are going on in my own life and put them into perspective. My boy, my 22 month old boy can take weeks off from swimming and then just face the challenge like a champ. He jumps right back in and shows confidence and drive… then the pride that he has from “doing it…” even if its not perfect, even if he takes a few guzzles of pool water… or jumps on 3 rather than when I say jump… he is still doing it… he is so awesome. I can only hope he continues to have that trait for the rest of his life. That he keeps on dreaming, keeps on setting goals and keeps on fighting for what he wants. One thing is for sure, Mama will ALWAYS be in his corner.

Sunday I competed in my first solo comp since October 2013. Since then, there have been quite a few pairs competitions, same sex and male/female as well as regionals and even a threesome. For some reason, I just didn’t feel the “need” to get out there on my own. After having Z, I have competed with Hubs in male/female pairs, then SH in a same sex pairs, than again with WS in a male/female pairs… it was time to get out there, get back on the horse and compete alone. After signed up, I cannot lie. I had some anxiety about competing alone. There is no one to rely on, there is no one to help. When the workouts get released, its all on me to lay everything I have on the table and do what I can. Alone. Did I think about withdrawing… yes. I did.

When workouts are released for a comp there is always a moment of doubt. You have no idea what they are going to be. You also don’t know how many there are going to be, what the time caps are, what the competition is going to be like, what the conditions will be like or how you are doing to be feeling that day. You don’t know if they will announce a workout then have to change it at the last minute. You don’t know if there will be finals, or how many people will make finals, or if everyone will do four workouts. However, it is important to remember that everyone is facing the same exact conditions you are. There is no “luck” involved. One workout might be in your wheelhouse, and another in someone else’s. That’s the beauty of crossfit. I might feel more confident in a workout that dosent involve a pullup bar or running, but because there is none of that in a workout does not make me lucky… Likewise, if another athlete has a 3:00 Fran… and Fran is the workout, she didn’t get “lucky” that it was programmed, she has that time because she works hard and is efficient and amazing at those skills.

I had my ups and my downs of the day. Had my #1 cheerleader in my corner with me who dragged her ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to drive to Revere. I kept thing all day long of my little guy. How he got in that pool and got pulled around by someone other than me… kicked his feet and had a big confident smile. After a disappointing first workout, I had to pull myself up. I had to work 10X harder and prove to myself that I could do this. I was there to lay it all on the line. Get.It.Done. And that’s what I did. I worked hard, I pulled the confidence that I was a strong competitor from somewhere within. The clock started for the remaining 3 workouts and I left everything I had right there in front of me. I needed this.

The end of the day, I stood on the podium, for the first time as an individual competitor. The box I was standing on was for me. The metal, the handshake, the “swag bag” and most importantly… the pride. Its mine. I didn’t have to share it today. 

...and guess what. Luck had nothing to do with it. 









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