Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 553

There she was. Standing next to the blocks at the deep end of the pool.  She stood tall, shoulders back, arms by her side.  She looked focused.  She wore a blue swimsuit and a bright yellow swim cap.  Black goggles.  She wasn't moving. Just standing to attention staring at the far end of the pool. 

Around her the other competitors were stretching and hopping about.  They were looking around them.  Jiggling.  Chatting. Laughing.  But not she.  She just stood there as tall as could be.  She looked big. She looked powerful. Steady breaths. Fixed stare.  Strong focus. She owned it.

This wasn't her chosen sport.  She was a dancer. But somehow she had managed to prove her water strength and here she was.  She was surrounded by squad swimmers. The people standing along the waters edge with her had chosen this.  This was their thing.  

This wasn't her thing. Or was it?

She knew she was in the fast heat.  These kids were the best.  They were fast.  They were swimmers.  The fact that she was placed in this heat meant she actually had a chance.  She was standing next to the best in her region.  She could do this.  




Own it.

The whistle blew. She stood on her block and rested one foot at the back rest.  She pointed her arms in front of her, staring at the water.  She appeared to suddenly shrink in size as the bodies around her grew.  But then she adjusted her stance. Her shoulders were broad. Her arms were long. She grew again. She looked powerful.

The buzzer sounded and she dived into the water.  She dived long and shallow.  She kicked underwater and cut her way through the cool clear liquid. When she came up she was with them.  She could see them right next to her on either side as she pushed through the water with her breast stroke arms.  She swam. And she breathed. And she looked ahead. And she focussed. And she owned every stroke.  

She felt pressure in her lungs and in her arms as she neared the end.  She could feel the fatigue.  They were all around her. She could feel them.  But this was her chance.  She was one of them.  She was so close.  So she pushed, and she breathed, and she looked and she focussed.  She couldn't see them anymore. She hit the end and she knew that she owned it.  

* * * * * * * 

Yesterday my magic girl swam at her PSSA (regional) event.  She had done her school swim carnival a month ago and did well in her heats so this is where she goes to compete against other schools in her region. She had been selected for both freestyle and breastroke. She swims, but not seriously. She just hangs out with Dad while he does laps of a Tuesday night. But she's pretty strong. I credit her arm strength to cheerleading and calisthenics.  (Daddy's Tuesday swim nights have nothing to do with it.) Anyway, she went along yesterday with no expectations.  She competed in freestyle beating her seed time by a second which was great news. A PB!! She came 19th overall for her age group.  Then she fronted up to her breast stroke event and there was an energy shift.  As we watched her standing up on the blocks we saw a different child. She grew up there. She looked powerful.  She looked like a winner. The moment she dived into the pool we could see she was up for this race. I started yelling so loud that the girl in lane 2 actually hesitated during one stroke to stare at me.  Whoops.  I realised I was about to start running down the pool with excitement so I sent Derek to do that instead.  He ran down the other end to wait for her.  No yelling, just silent encouragement.  I sat on the bleaches with Nanny and Pop and jiggled and said "OMG" a lot.  She was in the fast heat. We knew that.  We had worked that out when we saw the kids in her race.  We didn't realise just how well she'd keep up with them though.  But she did. And she nailed it.  Our little magic girl came 2nd overall in the region.  She beat her seed time by 5 seconds. It is possible she may have qualified for State. Shit. Our girl can swim ...

Yep. Endless possibility. She really is magic. She sure gave me back my mojo, blojo and get-up-and-go-jo.  Thank you Tahlia. Time for some Jackson Five ....


  1. GOOSEBUMPS! that is magical, Leanne. What a girl!

  2. Could it be the magicalness of your daughter was what was in the air???? (is magicalness a word?)

  3. Yep. There were goosebumps Toni.

    Hmmm. Good call Bodnars! Good call. Maybe it was her magicalness that was in the air ... and yes, magicalness is now a word.

  4. Go Tahlia! That is brilliant :D. I was thinking though when you mentioned her strength and focus on the blocks that it seems she has learnt her mums lessons and read your upcoming book. She sounds like she has a wonderful confidence of self. So glad she's revived you Leanne :)

  5. Thanks Jen. Our children teach us so much don't they?! I'd be happy if I could teach her just a fraction what she teaches me.

  6. Leanne, this is just brilliant. I feel so so happy for you and for Tahlia. Sometimes, kids teach us to hold on for that one last second. what a wonderfully beautiful and strong kid you have. She is a winner.

  7. Well done Tahlia. Congratulations on slicing 5 seconds off your time. What a great achievement.

  8. Oh my, Leanne. This is my best read all week.

    As a competitive swimmer in my youth you have no idea how this resonates with me.

    You gave her these skills, both in body and mind. HUGE congratulations to you both.

    Brilliant. Just brilliant.


  9. Thanks Ratz, E and Lucy. I am right now trying to change our holiday plans to be sure we get her back home in time to compete on 5 May. How exciting! Just to be able to say she went to State is such a big thing. No one can take that away from her. Yay!!!


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