Saturday 8 June 2019

Swimming Gala's and Winning Medals!

Over the bank holiday weekend we spent most of our time over at Gloucester GL1 leisure centre, James has been competing in his first big swimming competition against lots of other swim clubs from across the county!

I have to say I'm not sure who was more nervous, me of James but excitement soon took over as we pulled in the car park and saw all of the other swimmers arriving too.

We arrived and James went off to get changed whilst we took our seats to watch. After a quick warm up he took his place for his first race, the 100m Individual Medley, the race he had been worried about since we first signed up for it months ago. I could feel his nerves from way up in the stand and as he took his place on the block I was right there with him. My heart pounding, my palms sweating I could barely watch as they declared... SET... GO!

And then it all came crashing down.

As James dived into the water his goggles came off, we had forgot to put his goggles under his hat and the impact of hitting the water had ripped his goggles from his face and they were around his neck. In a panic he rushed to the top of the water... using front crawl and that was it, a DQ for the wrong stroke and his race had ended.

Honestly I could see how sad and upset he was, I wanted to race down the steps and haul him out that pool as quick as I could. I could see his lip curl and his cheeks flush red but to my surprised he didn't stop, he didn't get out nope he carried on! Not even stopping to pull back up his goggles my boy hauled himself along doing a 25m butterfly stroke (his least favourite stroke!) down to the end of the pool where his coach was cheering him on.

I could feel the tears rolling down my cheeks as he turns to do backstroke and I can see him crying, I can see how upset he is and in that moment there wasn't anything I could do but watch, willing him on and waiting for him to finish so I could tell him just how flipping proud I was.

You see James has a bit of a habbit of giving up, his school teacher once said something that has stuck with me and that was " a lot of things come easily to James so when he can't do something he gives up because he doesn't understand why he can't do it" and that has kind of been true, but not today. Today James pushed on, he didn't give up even when he knew he had been disqualified, even when he knew everyone else has finished the race, he pushed on and oh boy was I proud.

As he came in to the finish everyone was cheering him on, his team, other teams and swimmers, coaches, officials and the crowds of parents watching and of course myself and his dad. In that moment I realised that swimming has brought so much more to James than just learning how to swim. It has brought him friendships, experiences, achievements and health benefits but most importantly it has given him the sense of never giving up, to keep pushing even if your last, even when it all goes wrong and that is exactly what he did that day and boy was I proud!

I wasn't sure how the rest of the competition would go if I am honest. This was his very first race of the weekend and we had two days of racing to go! But again he surprised me he brushed off the last race and got right back up on that block for every race he had entered that weekend.

And do you know what, the boy bloody smashed it! He put that one race behind him, taking away the support and experience and went on to take home 4 medals out of the 5 races he competed in, not bad right? Well one of them was only a flipping GOLD! Yep that's right, the very last race of the weekend he bagged himself a gold medal for his 50m backstroke, his most favourite race of all.

It felt like the whole weekend had done a full turn, from that first race when it all went wrong to the weekend all building up to that last race when he got gold. From the tears we had on that first morning to the biggest most genuine smile I think I have ever seen as they handed him that gold medal.

I am always proud of James because he puts so much effort into his swim sessions and loves being in the pool but today I couldn't hide my proud mama smile. I wanted to scoop him up, swing him around and tell him just how proud I was but apparently that's not "cool" so he went for a quick hug and a massive ice cream on the way home instead!

Do any of you or your children swim? Or do they take park in another club where they compete?



  1. I am so glad he went on to win so many medals after the initial race. The medals would have certainly boosted hi confidence - well done to him and good luck for the next race! :) Sim x

  2. Is it weird that I feel proud for you, and for him?! This is so lovely. Well done him for persevering and grabbing that gold medal too! That's amazing!

  3. Oh wow, well done for persevering, James! This is such a fabulous story :) My 12 year old daughter fences, and she's come home with medals too. So proud!

  4. That's so good that he didn't let one race define how the whole weekend went and well done to him x

  5. Aww bless him, what a nightmare! So glad he's turned it around. Well done little man :)

  6. Such a proud mum moment to see that he has not let defeat ruin everything and to persevere! Well done to Jamie x

  7. Wow.Congratulations Jame s-- you did awesome!!

  8. I loved swimming as a kid and love it now. Great to get involved in all the galas for sure. congrats xx

  9. Oh bless him - as a mum of four I totally feel you! I am so glad he smashed it. Kaz