myrtle beach swim meet.

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This month we started meet season with our swim team, Columbia Swimming.

David and I decided to take Gabe and Noah out of swimming this year, partly because the rates went up, and partly because neither showed great enthusiasm for it. In fact, both were happy when we told them they could quit!

Being part of a swim team takes some commitment because it’s a year-round sport. The kids practice right through the summer. But as of this year, there’s really been no question in our mind of whether the commitment’s worth it; we’ve seen so much good come of it for both Judah and Amie. They’ve gotten stronger, more energetic, and more confident. We’ve made some wonderful friends. And the longer they swim, the more they enjoy it.

Judah now practices three times a week for an hour and half, and Amie twice. It’s a lot, but I will say it helps tremendously that the pool is just five minutes from our house. I can drop them Tuesday and Thursday mornings, race home to put in an hour of home school with the little guys, then pick them up and have a few minutes to chat with my friends. Judah’s third practice is on Saturday, which is nice too.

The other tricky thing about swimming is it’s a traveling sport; there’s only one meet in Columbia this year. We’ve decided to compromise by not doing every meet, and mostly competing on Saturdays, so we can be back home for church Sunday.

Thankfully most of the meets are within a couple hours away. Still it’s not the easiest for our family since David is a pastor; he can get away a couple Saturdays, but uses most to prepare for church Sunday. We’re making it work!

Since this month’s meet was in Myrtle Beach, which is 3 hours away, we decided to stay overnight and have the kids swim Saturday and Sunday. And my mom was very kind to come along and help.

Here are a few snapshots from our trip:

North Myrtle Beach Aquatic Center:

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Saturday afternoon warm-ups:

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CS 12-and-under teammates:

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A couple of events:

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Amie in lane 2

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Judah in lane 2

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Judah in lane 3

If you’re interested, here were their events:

Judah:

50 and 100 Back
50 and 100 Free
50 and 100 Breast

Amelie:

25 and 50 Free
25 Breast
25 and 100 Back
25 Fly

The Aquatic Center is quite small, and the boys lasted in the bleachers for about 10 minutes of the first warm-up. Thankfully the weather was beautiful, and we found places to set them up. We brought toys, Uno, and lots of snacks, and my mom loaded them with activity books from the dollar store, which turned out to be the biggest hit of the weekend. Swim meets last a long time, most of it is waiting for a 50-second race!

I have to say here that Gabe and Noah were incredible all weekend. I have so much to learn from their flexibility and enthusiasm for whatever life brings their way — even if it’s Goldfish and sticker books at a picnic table!

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The great news about a smaller swim meet is that parents were allowed on the pool deck. We set up outside, and my mom and I took turns running in to watch events. We could stand right up at the edge of the pool and cheer the kids on, and I could even bring them a Gatorade in the bleachers mid-afternoon (which isn’t allowed at other meets).

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We took a risk and got a super cheap motel room so we could be right on the beach. I think I have to say it was worth it, although there were some patchy moments. Maybe I wouldn’t do it again, without David or my dad along. My mom and I have both traveled a lot overseas, so saying it was one of the worst places we’ve ever stayed is saying a lot. But it could’ve been a lot worse. There were no bedbugs!

I love my mom. She can go with the flow better than most. And we have lots of things to laugh about.

And we woke up to this:

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Judah and I walked a mile up the beach to our beloved vacation spot:

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This is what he thought about our motel this weekend:

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When we met up Sunday afternoon, one of the kids’ coaches asked, “How was your night?” And Judah said, “Well, now I know what it’s like to stay in a one-star hotel!”

Thanks, Judah. Hey, at least there was a hot tub!

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The kids finished up around 3:00 on Sunday and we hit the road for home. We were so thankful for a fun swim meet experience after all the hard, scary meets of last year. I think a year makes a big difference. Both kids improved their times in every event, and say they’re excited for their next meet in Greenville! As a parent, I love watching them conquer their fears and blossom.

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