I spent a big chunk of today watching my boys at their school swimming carnival. My eldest swims in 10 and under and my youngest swam in 8 and under and 9 and under. Like a lot of Australian families I have prioritised swimming lessons for them since they were about 3. I would have said that the oldest is not particularly talented and the younger shows a bit more potential but hasn't had any experience at racing, so expectations were low. I wouldn't say that either of them possess an overly competitive nature (except with one another).
They both know that I have gotten into swimming in the last couple of years and I let them know when I have been swimming and where and how many laps I have done and more recently my husband has gotten into swimming as he has been in training for a triathlon. He has become very excited about his progress with swimming and talks about it at home too.
Today they both surprised me. They were both entered in two events - freestyle and backstroke. Both of them got through the freestyle heats and into the finals. And they both swam really well in the backstroke and were very close to getting through to the final. The younger one ended up placing 3rd in the freestyle final and I couldn't be more proud. Both of them also seemed to really enjoy the occasion. And the younger one has said that he got a kick out of racing.
I don't think that it is any accident that they have had this turnaround given the examples that they have had at home in this past few months and it is really satisfying to know that even the bit of extra effort we have been making, may have rubbed off on them. It's is a large part of why we do it, isn't it? Not just so we can keep up with our kids, stay alive for our kids, but to have a positive impact on their choices.