Family Moab

Family Moab
In Arches National Park

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Racing Masters with my Daughter

The onset of nerves before I swim a race roils my gut and sends my heart rate sky high. I can tell myself that no one cares (true), that at my age it's silly to get nervous (debatable), and that everyone will still love me even if I fall flat on my face (hopefully fair), but no matter. Over the past weekend I learned that one thing can calm me down - racing next to my daughter. Aden and I were seeded in the same heat and in lanes 3 and 4 for the 50 freestyle at the Arizona State Masters meet, and that was so fun I almost forgot to be nervous.

At the start I closed my eyes, which is typical, and opened them in the water with a focus on the wall ahead for the turn, but when I flipped I pushed off on my side toward Aden and she towards me. For a split second we stared at each other between outstretched arms - and then I reminded myself to get going since she's a powerhouse on the back half of any race.  Aden pulled ahead and finished four-tenths before me, but she carried me to my best finish in a few years. We got out and staggered behind the timers into a bent-over, leaning high-five, smiling even as we gasped for breath.

We swam together in the 100 free, too, but Aden was two lanes away and ahead the entire duration of that race. On less than 20 hours of pool time this spring (she's a working woman now, after all) she propelled herself to four national top-ten times in her age group. Her will and determination inspired me into one (hopefully) for my much-older age group. Away from the blocks we had fun in the warm up and warm down pool, chatting with always-friendly Masters swimmers from Arizona, and particularly with our new friend Rich, who remembered our names and asked about all of our races.  

Tucson in the spring is glorious, with flowering cacti, happy birds, and bright blue skies. The high temps and bright sunshine scared us into multiple applications of sunscreen and flight to the shade but the vistas of saguaro and barrel cacti lit up our vision. We listened to Beyonce's new album, which was strangely befitting to the Western setting, and tooled around town looking for acai bowls, gluten free baked goods and smoothies.

I'm reminded again why I sign up for meets and force myself to train for them - it's for the adventure, the shared time with friends and family and the occasional reminders that I still have something in the tank. Dealing with the nerves as the price of admission makes it all worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. A great experience for both of you. Love you!