I’ve been writing forever and indie-published my first novel, Blue Hydrangeas, last year. Like so many authors, I wear several hats, one of which is “Swim Mom.” I’ve shuttled my daughter to swim meets and swim practice for years, and now follow her across state lines during her college swimming career. All those hours sitting on cold, metal bleachers waiting to watch her swim for a minute or two gave me more than a sore you-know-what: It inspired me to write a book about it.
My goal was to write a story about the whole high school swimming experience, to show others who may not be as familiar with the sport how much fun it is and how hard these kids work. I started it four years ago and will soon have a completed manuscript. The plan is to publish in spring 2015.
Swimming is such a great sport with lifelong benefits. Swimming competitively, especially in high school, can be a positive experience that builds character, self-esteem, and friendships. In New York State, girls can join the varsity team in seventh grade, when they're 12, and compete against girls who are much older and bigger. When my daughter joined the high school team I was unsure as to whether or not she’d be able to meet its demands: practice after school every day and on Saturday mornings and swim meets at least twice a week. She looked so small compared to the other girls. Could she really compete against them? Would she be crushed? How would this affect her self-esteem? Would she quit?
Our kids often surprise us, and my daughter surprised me. She loved being on the team, loved her teammates, and never complained about going to practice or asked if she could skip. Sure, there were times when the older girls pushed her to work harder, swim faster, but that only made her a better swimmer. As the years went on her skills improved and she quickly became a team leader, one of their top swimmers, and a contender in the division.
She grew up a lot in her six years on this team and learned many valuable lessons: keeping a commitment to a sport and a team that spanned a third of her life; setting and making personal goals; the grace of winning; the humility of defeat; confidence in her athleticism; pride in her body and what it can do; and the rewards earned through hard work and dedication. She has gone on to swim in college where she continues to exhibit the same skills and attitudes she cultivated in high school. These are lifelong lessons that will benefit her in whatever she chooses to do, in sports, work, and more. All girls should have the opportunity to learn about themselves through sports, any sport.
Swim Season means so much to me - and to many of the swimmers and swim parents I've talked to - that I decided to do something different to ensure its success. I recently launched a campaign on Pubslush, a marketing platform that offers me a way to test the waters, build an audience, and provide start-up funds necessary to publish, distribute, and promote this book.
Please take a moment to check out my page, https://pubslush.com/project/3044