see you later, 2020. welcome, 2021.
Can you believe it is December? The last 12 months have seemed to both fly by and drag on.
Every year I always use December to reflect on the months and year that is wrapping up. It is a wonderful time to set goals and to see just how much you have accomplished in 1 year; 12 months; 365 days.
But what about 2020? I realize many of us are probably eager to leave this year behind us; it is time to move on to 2021. This year was exhausting as it challenged all of us in ways we never could have imagined. Out of all the years to reflect on, this one (even reluctantly so) is pivotal to review and think back on because there is so much to take away.
We began our year with a bang! As a team we had big goals. We had a record number of our swimmers participate in our Mid-Winter Meltdown, and not to mention, so many of our swimmers tried some new races for the first time! As a team, we had so much to be proud of following the conclusion of the first 31 days of 2020.
Next came our District Meet. Tons of time drops for our athletes and several Junior Olympic times achieved. It was extremely exciting to see how many of our swimmers were focused and determined to achieve the goals that they had set for themselves.
March 2020: This was a BIG month
- We had a strong group of 15 swimmers participate at JO’s, not to mention 9 new athletes who were there for the first time ever! We placed 10th out of 20 teams that were in attendance. There is no doubt we can aim for a top 8 finish in the seasons to come.
- 12 & under state meet also was a great success where we had several podium-finishes and big time drops, also including one new qualifier!
- On March 12th our practices were halted, 13 & older state meet was canceled, and the Covid-19 quarantine period began.
Many of our athletes remained active safely at home and had fun participating in our social media challenges. Let us not forget our Fish Out of Water Challenge!
DRD athletes and coaches get creative and began our first-ever virtual dryland program through Zoom. We had many of our athletes tune-in from the comfort of their homes for some tough workouts but smiled through the sweat as they connected with their teammates and coaches.
We get the green light to transition our workouts to in-person and outside! We continue to work on making ourselves stronger outside of the water as we wait to hear for pools to open.
WE RETURN TO THE POOL! Our swimmers gleefully jumped into Ten Eyck to begin our “outdoor season” and to enjoy every moment of doing what they love most. Michigan gave us one of the best summer seasons and being able to watch the sunrise every morning was never taken for granted.
- Many of our high school girls re-joined their respective teams anxiously awaiting the green light for their seasons to begin. All our other athletes continued to swim-on soaking up every moment in the water.
- We hosted our first-ever DRD Backyard Swim Meet! Our first and only unofficial competition for the 2020 Outdoor season. The competitive spirit was alive in our athletes and our families as we came together to make the most of what had been a trying and strange year.
Our high school and middle school girls finally get the green light for their seasons to start. The rest of our athletes work in the pool until Labor Day. The loss of water did not stop our athletes as we transitioned to our outdoor drylands to keep up our fitness.
The weather and day light soon became an obstacle. Our athletes bundled up on the cold evenings and began to appreciate the sunsets. What a complete reversal from spending the summer watching the sun rise every morning!
We officially transitioned back to our virtual environment for drylands as we awaited access to pool time. Our athletes remained committed to their team, teammates, coaches, and their fitness staying focused on when the day will come to jump into the pool for swim practice.
And here we are: December 2020
The new MDHHS “Pause” has pushed back the start of our boy’s high school season as well as our access to water as a team. We push on with our virtual drylands working on our strength outside of the pool.
This year can be described by many words: uncertainty, unprecedented, frustrating, scary, sad, distressing, heartbreaking, daunting, challenging… the list could go on and on. There are a lot of words there that could stop someone in their tracks. But our athletes, our team, our coaches, our DRD family has CONTINUED. Our swimmers have persevered through some of the toughest times and I am certain they will come out of this on-top as athletes and as individuals. Sacrifice, difficult times, and being able to adapt to change makes a strong individual, and that is just what our athletes are: strong.
During our backyard swim meet, it was such a sight to see our athletes racing, our families cheering, and the excitement we have longed for during this 2020 year. There is no doubt in my mind that our return to the pool and competition will be met with even more celebrating.
Stay patient, stay healthy, and stay strong. Onward to 2021!
Sincerely a very proud coach,