Saturday, June 28, 2014
Celebrate This Week! 6.28.14
It's always good to end the week on a positive note. Sometimes we concentrate on the negatives. We have a choice. Choose positive. Choose to celebrate. I will be joining Ruth Ayres and her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week. Check out all the other celebrations HERE
Last weekend we traveled to Colorado Springs for my daughter to be nationally classified as a disabled swimmer and for her to swim in the Jimi Flowers Classic swim meet. It was an amazing experience.
Classification went well and a little unexpected. She spent a lot of time with 2 classifiers that took a lot of range of motion measurements. As to be expected, this is where she got a lot of her "points" - meaning how she "qualified" for a disability classification. They also tested her strength which she passed with flying colors (thank you Miss Myla, physical therapist extraordinaire!). Next she swam all 4 strokes in the water and did one diving start. She now has a classification for all 4 strokes and one for IM's. She also has notes in the officials section that lets them know what they can/can't DQ her for in the breaststroke. The unexpected part was she does not have that for the fly. My daughter has a tough time with the fly kick, but the classifiers said she has enough strength that she should be able to do it legally. Something for her to work on!
Next, she did a small workout in the pool. Keep in mind, this is the US Olympic Training Plaza pool! It was kind of awe inspiring to be there, knowing how many greats have swam in this pool. One thing that shocked me was how small it was. I've seen aqua arenas on TV that are just huge. This one had a wall that held a 3-row set of bleachers along it. That's it. But I guess this is the training plaza.
The next two days were the meet. My daughter swam in 5 events. She dropped major time in 2 events which made us thrilled! She also got DQed in 2 events, but that just gives her something to work on. What was incredible to see was all the kids and adults with major disabilities work through their challenges to swim. There were people there with no legs at all. Some with only 1 limb. One boy had fingers, but no arms and legs that did not straighten. I could not believe how fast he was in the water. We saw more amputations that I've seen in my life. But here... it was the norm. And no one cared. There was no pressure. Everyone cheered for each other. Everyone supported each other. Every accomplishment was celebrated.
My daughter certainly missed her friends from her swim team but she said to us, "I really liked this meet because everyone was just like me. Everyone had a disability." She got stares at her big shoe but the looks people gave her were SO different from the ones that she gets on the street. Most people gave it a glance and then smiled. Even the siblings that were there, you could tell they were so used to seeing physical disabilities, no one really gave her shoe a second glance.
We met up with a family there that happened to have heard of us through my daughter's head coach (small world). My daughter now idolizes their son (as an 11yo, my 8yo daughter has put him on a pedestal). She can't believe how fast he swims with a below the knee amputation and wants to meet up with them at another meet soon.
I am thrilled that this door has opened for my daughter. I know all of us are amazed at what people with physical, mental and other disabilities can do, but to see it is awe inspiring. What a celebration.