The 26th season as a head coach came to and an end on Saturday. Now I am left trying to wrap my head around the fact that we will not be able to watch Anna swim on a regular basis anymore in high school.
The journey was a great one with plenty of ups and downs. Something that I wish every parent could experience. Our relationship grew each day. We challenged each other to get better. We struggled. We succeeded. It was hard and it happened every day. Some of it was together, while at other times, we each had to figure it out on our own.
I know she has plenty of fast swims still in her as she moves forward. Forward being at a yet undetermined college that will probably be more than 3 hours away.
There are plenty of you that have sent your kids off to college after the enjoyment of watching them play their high school sport. There are probably some of you that were able to coach your own kid at some point as well. You can probably relate to some of this.
This past season was by itself its own journey:
- Torn ACL on April 7th.
- Surgery seven weeks later on May 26th
- Went to Girl Scout Camp – walked without crutches for a week on June 12th
- Back in the water for a mere 25 meters, 7 weeks after that on July 21st
- Swam every day between July 24th and the 28th during our contact days
- Season for High School started August 9th
- 30 physical therapy sessions between the surgery and August 30th
- Cleared for everything at the beginning of October
- Swam the 100 Butterfly and 100 Breaststroke at the Conference and Sectionals
Back on April 8th, the day after it was torn, we came up with #NoOffDays. We each knew that she was the only one that could do the work to make it back. She had to both push herself and at the same time know her limits. Not go to fast or too quick while staying inside the parameters set by the athletic trainer and the Doctor.
I think this struggle and determination during this stage of her life will end up paying large dividends later. She should be able to draw on the experience to make her stronger. To know and to understand the full impact of what it means to work hard and to get close to the results that you worked for. To know your own limits while still being able to push to the next level. To be able to set goals and fall a bit short. Not a failure but rather a learning experience. Anna’s goal was to make it back to State, and she fell a bit short. But it was not because of lack of effort or lack of will.
This is the part that I will miss most. Her ability to stay focused on her goals, while at the same time showing full support of everyone else around her on the team. If that was one thing that I was able to impress upon her over 4 years – that the team is more important than the individual – then I did succeed as the parent/coach.
The best part about this story is that on Monday, I get to start this exact same journey a second time. This time with Luke. We can only hope that he is ready for the ride!