Sunday, January 14, 2024

More than 500 yards

Last weekend A swam the 500 free to snag his very own swim bag. See the 500 free is a bit of a right of passage in our house or at least it has come to be. 

It started years ago when E wanted one of those fancy swim backpacks and I told her she had to swim the 500 to get it. 500 yard to a seven or eight year old is pretty grueling. 20 lengths of the pool at 25 yards a piece. You’re talking 8-11 minutes of swimming with no breaks.

The big three have done it. R swears she’s never doing it again but we think she’ll change her mind one day.

So A who was more desperate to get out of his little sister’s swim group claimed readiness for the 500 before our home meet. His coach gave him the green light and he was off to the races.

Not without a whole lot of nerves and psyching himself up - and maybe out too - he was ready. His swim friend and our neighbor counted for him. Yes someone counts your laps just so you don’t forget what lot lap you are on. A had the world’s best cheerleader as his counter. 

The best.

He was racing against 11 and 13 yr olds so he was definitely the small and mighty one who had his whole entire swim team behind him. 

I happened to be timing his lane - unplanned. So he had me on one side cheering and about 15 teammates on the other side pulling him through the grueling race - for an 8 yr old. 

Every time he would get to that end of the pool the natatorium erupted in shouts and cheers of encouragement for A. It was something. It warmed my heart and the thought of it still does. The whole team was behind him and I hope one day he’ll be the one cheering on his younger teammates who look up to him.

And while he may have missed the wall - on more than one flip turn- the swim bag looks great on him. And you never know the impact of your actions and encouragement on others - a mom told me a few days after that her swimmer was thinking about doing the 500 after watching A swim.

Not to overlook Ms swimming accomplishment, she got a time for Age Groups in her 50 fly - during her 100 fly race. She promptly got out of the pool and announced she was going to get sick. Then she celebrated with a new swim cap. We are hopeful for another time or two that she can swim during that meet.


  1. Wow that is a looooong way to swim for an 8 year old, I am so proud of him! My 12 year old hasn't swam that race yet, it's scary.

    1. If you want crazy/scary as a swim mom - have a kid who wants to swim an open water race. It is 3 buoys and a lake. I remember the first time I walked up to one of those races and thought - I paid for my kid to swim this?!?!?