Flip Turns

This morning Annie said to me, “Oh, the flip turn! I think I can finally do it and it’s easier than I thought.”

Annie has been on swim team for almost a year. She’s in it because she wants to be with her friends, and she loves being in the water. It’s no pressure: no need to swim in the meets. She swims a graceful breast stroke. I rarely stay for practice, but when I do I love to watch her swim that stroke.

Flip turns. She wanted to quit at one point because mastering a flip turn wasn’t working. Her Friday coach was on a mission to help her learn them. Then the coach gave up, telling her she’d need to learn them outside of practice.

I was only annoyed at this for a short seconds. It’s OK not to be equipped to teach every kid how to do a flip turn. A teen swimmer who we know spent an hour teaching her all about flip turns. Months ago. Still no flip turn success.

I’ve been ignoring flip turns. Letting it alone. I mean, it might be nutty if I became obsessed with them. The only thing I know about raising my specific girls is that if I push too hard, it’s a recipe for disaster. I try to be grateful that Annie is on swim team. It’s a surprise that she tried swim team and liked it. I mean, she’s always loved the water, but she had two years of one-on-one lessons to iron out the intricacies of learning swim strokes. Learning to dive took months and months.

Goodness: how obsessed I am with progress, with the measuring stick of success. While Annie goes to swim to be with her friends and be in the water.

Still, it was something this morning to hear about her flip turn success, to hear her tell me that her coach was the one who let her know she actually complete an entire flip turn and told her good job. To have her tell me not because I asked, but because wow, it’s good news.

What a ride, this life. Flip turns. Most things come in their own time. Some things never arrive. Life is magic like that. Flip Turns.

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