Swimming with Olympian Michelle Weber in January 2018
Dad and I drove down for the December holidays after a very tiring KZN Premier champs. Our trip takes us from Durban on the East Coast, through the Free State to the Western Cape with a one-night stopover at Colesburg (half way). Mom is working in Cape Town on contract and we will spend Christmas with Granny in a small place called Dwarskersbos, 12 km from Velddrif.
The first day is an eight-hour drive and we arrive safely in Colesburg. The next day will be a nine-hour drive to Dwarskersbos. It is very sad to see how dry it is everywhere. Continue reading →
2017 Swim season is ahead of us. The time has come to take a moment to look back at 2016. We realize that it is still one of the most challenging swimming years we have had to date as Monica, aged 9, competed in the 10 & under, 12 & under and 14 & under age groups.
In 2017 she will continue to swim these events but at least be closer to her 10th birthday, therefore a bit stronger.
Our swimming seasons start in May of every year with pre-season racing taking place until September. September to March is the official swimming season. We are at the moment 3 months away from the flagship event – the 2017 SSA L2 Championships.
Our best swim in 2016 remains the unexpected meet record in the 200 LCM freestyle during Action swim champs. We admire the ease and control Monica maintained during this swim. The Seagulls 200 SC IM where Monica swam sub 3 minutes takes second place in our top races for the year. It is a tough choice but third place goes to the TYR hat-trick in the 200 LCM IM. Great swimming in a year which is supposed to be an offseason.
Competitive swimming in 2016-2017:
Towards the end of 2016, younger swimmers emerged challenging Monica in her races. We are delighted to see these swimmers come through the ranks due to three reasons:
It is good for female swimming to see young age group swimmers raising the standard, working hard and smart resulting in faster times.
The competition is good for Monica – we find it interesting to see how much harder she is willing to push herself during competitive races.
Commitment – Monica demonstrated a new level of commitment to swimming and training. She wants to be fit and strong to meet any challenge that comes her way. She is willing to do the work.
We are, as a result of this renewed commitment, entering the last 3 months of the 2016-2017 swim season with a stronger, highly motivated, committed and healthier than ever, age group swimmer.
Health and dealing with asthma as a swimmer:
February 2016 saw Monica achieve 6 x 8 & U Provincial records ad 2 x 10 & Under Provincial meet records, despite a battle with asthma during the event.
February and March of every year is a bumpy ride for our family. We are working closely with our doctors to keep Monica as healthy as possible. The heat, humidity and season changes, do, however, present us with a relentless challenge.
We trust that this year will be different due to a couple of reasons. Monica has 8/10 possible level 3 qualifying times. She is, therefore, not allowed to swim the Provincial championships in February where she battled with asthma last year.
We hope that she would avoid any asthmatic incidents by not having to compete in February, leaving her stronger and healthier for the SSA champs in March 2017. It is still a challenge every year but we are learning every step of the way.
We would like to end our family’s New Year message with the following quote from a Michael Phelps motivation video. Our hearts are filled with pride and immense gratefulness for the coaches, friends, family, and fans that believe in Monica’s ability, the work she puts in and her love for the sport with this quote:
To me, being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship to yourself and your family and your friends.
Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down, because you told them the truth. And that truth is that you did everything that you could. There wasn’t one more thing that you could’ve done. ~ football Coach Gary Gaines.