In addition to my oldest son who plays baseball, I have a 10 year old who’s a swimmer. 2 years ago he did it competitively and held his own pretty well. But there’s something called burn-out in sports and eventually, he needed a break. And so, because my wife and I are in no way pushy when it comes to kids and sports, we let him hang it up for a bit.
This past spring, he asked to swim again and we signed him up. He was pudgy now, but still adorable. He’s the one I call Peanut (Read REVISITING THE DENT HOME RUN BECAUSE OF MY PEANUT ), but now that he’s 10, he’s kind of over it, too cool for his parents, and Peanut no longer stands.
“I want to go to the Junior Olympics”, he said to my wife and I one day. We looked at each other and our eyebrows went up. He wasn’t there physically at all, but my wife chimed in, “If you want it, you need to change your diet. More nutrition. More sleep and you need to swim a lot… that means practice.”
“OK”, he shrugged and changed into his swimsuit. The summer swim team was great for him. He changed his eating habits dramatically, asking before each meal, “How’s this, chicken, a vegetable and some rice?” “Good job,” I’d say and look at my wife. There were moments we’d try to break him, after all, he’s a kid… “How about we go out for ice cream”, my wife would say. “Nope, I’m good”, he’d reply.
My son did well this Summer, but probably not as well as he would have if he swam during his break, but he's 10, it's no big deal. It didn’t matter, my son said he wanted to go to the Junior Olympics and that was fine with me. He had a goal.
“I want to swim year round,” he said to my wife in August. “OK then, We’ll start researching.”
With that came 4 tryouts. He made 1.
“I love that place,” He said, "It’s where I need to be.” He was right. His new organization is amazing. The parents are terrific and the kids genuinely like each other. Now he’s swimming “year round”, as requested. Another mountain to climb, but for some reason, he doesn’t appear fazed… he’s in the zone. Although, there are those days when he "wants a day off." Usually we can either talk him into going to practice, and sometimes we give him off. Again, he's 10.
What’s the point of this? Will and desire to want something badly enough. My son’s 10, and he literally made a life choice way to sophisticated for his little frame. But he did it on his own. Will he make the Junior Olympics one day? Listening to him talk, watching him work, the dude could climb the Empire State Building if he wanted to… he’s that determined. In short, I don’t know, but I know he wants to… and that makes me damn proud.
Go get’um Peanut…go get’um!
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