Waking up Thursday morning I was a little less anxious about the day because I knew they had oranges and bananas and water and juice at the venue. I knew the system on approaching the blocks and getting on the starting blocks. I had met a few people; yet I was still traveling to the meet alone. However, I was exhausted. I mean really, really exhausted. If you read my last post, you’ll know there was a college swimmer named Landon who had given me a few swim lessons. I messaged him about how exhausted I was and he told me to make sure I did extra warm up and extra cool downs after each race. So I was ready.
I ate breakfast at the hotel and asked if the young lady who had worked yesterday was working today. She was. My sisters had sent me flowers to my hotel room for my birthday. I wasn’t sure I wanted to put this vase of water in the rental car for a 6 hour drive home, so I went and got the flowers and gave them to the young lady. I told her how she had calmed my nerves by listening to my “story” yesterday and how thankful I was that she had made me extra food for the meet. She wanted to know all about my swims yesterday and I got to tell her. She went out of her way today too – too much to write about; but I left her a really nice tip. Again if I am able, I like to bless people who bless me.
Almost as soon as I arrived at the swim venue, the swimmers on Brigid’s team were welcoming me and inviting me to come sit with them. You do not realize how much that means to an “anxious” person. Just to feel welcomed and loved already by this group of swimmers was a real morale booster. I do get very anxious at times and I literally had to remind myself what I was there for. I was there to have fun and to complete my races.
First race was the 100 IM and there were 10 women in my age group swimming it. Hey it was 1/4 of the 400 IM. I got in there and I got it done. I ended up 5th. (Still exhausted. Yikes.) Sometimes my 57 year old mind thinks it’s 21 years old. Oh brother. I had two more races – the 100 meter breaststroke and the 50 meter butterfly. I placed third in both.
This meet is what is called a “qualifying” meet for Nationals. So how it works is if you place in the top 4 – you qualify for Nationals. Or let’s say you place 6th, but you meet the minimum time requirement for Nationals, you qualify that way too. So I KNOW I am nowhere near my fastest times from college so I didn’t know what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that in the 200 meter breaststroke and the 100 meter breaststroke I qualified by getting 3rd but I also qualified by making the time cut. There were times in my swimming career where I was a butterflyer and then there were times in my swimming career that I was a breaststroker.
One thing I had learned from this meet was that if I went to Nationals, I probably would NOT sign up for 6 events in 2 days. But I did decide to definitely compete in the 400 IM, the 200 Breast, and the 100 breast. I can pick 3 more and I might pick one more. But I am excited to see if I can get my breaststroke times to drop.
Brigid and her team invited me to come to Arizona and swim a couple of meets before next years nationals. I may in the Spring. It’s just really nice that they made me feel SO welcome.
After I swam my last event, I showered, got dressed, picked up my medals and headed out for the 6 hour drive home. It was a really rainy day, and I was hoping there would not be any snow on the passes. Although my body was tired, my mind was pretty exhilarated and the drive was beautiful.