The Haymakers Rock the Pool…

The Haymaker Swim Team rocked the pool during the 2015 Plains Tsunami Swim League Championships.

52 Haymaker Swimmers competed garnering a total of 210 medal winning swims, and 13 individual swimmers earning High Point Awards for the meet. The stack of medals is indeed impressive – glittering brightly to match the smiles of the swimmers after they powered through more than 70 PR’s and secured the team victory.swimteam2015a

Words cannot describe how proud I am of the team, and it is my fervent hope that each swimmer finished the season stronger and more confident than they began. Many share my enthusiasm for our team’s success in 2015, but very few realize that I held an additional and very important personal goal for the 2015 Championships.

This year I celebrated my 40th birthday as well as my 10 year anniversary with Graves Disease. A few months prior to my 30th birthday, this autoimmune system disease racked my body – leaving me physically debilitated and mentally shattered. My anemic and painfully thin body refused to function and simple things like lifting my 12 month old baby or reading aloud to my children became nearly impossible.

As my physical strength deteriorated, my mind ran on constant adrenaline leaving my mental and emotional fitness devastated. My Graves journey was unique and I experienced some unexpected complications both from the disease and the treatment. I have few specific memories from those first 5 years of my 4th decade, but many regrets for the trauma that my family experienced as a result of the disease.

My biggest fan...

My biggest fan…

The last five years have been years of healing for me – finding new balance – and accepting that my flawed body (with the help of modern medicine) can indeed persevere. Losing fitness is difficult for anyone, but it hit me particularly hard as my identity was closely tied to athletics. Soul searching eventually led me to decide that I needed to come full circle in order to effectively “finish the Graves Chapter” of my life.

On my 40th birthday, I made a promise to myself that I would train and compete as a 19 and Over Swimmer for the 2015 season. While I have haphazardly swum for a few years, I had not set an athletic goal since getting sick. I have to admit that it scared me. I am naturally driven to accomplish personal goals and my flagging confidence worried that I would fall short. Despite my trepidation, I recognized that it was a critical step in my journey.

I too was personally victorious at the Championships. I completed the meet with a sweep of Gold Medals (200M freestyle, 100M freestyle, 50M Backstroke, and 100M Individual Medley) and a collection of very decent swims to mark the first year of my 5th decade. My healed body showed stamina and strength which brought a feeling of pride and closure.

This picture was taken about a month ago -- since then, my favorite 10 year old has passed me by and I am now the shortest two-legged member of the household!

My Graves journey was life changing. I look at the world differently today than I did 10 years ago. There are a few physical challenges that still remain, but I have overcome the heart of this trial. As a result, I truly understand that the road to excellence is not meant to be comfortable.  I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my favorite farmer and the three girls with which God blessed us.  We persevered together.

Every day is a gift — Every race is an opportunity.

Go Haymakers!


Filed under Coaching / Personal Growth, Family, General

5 responses to “The Haymakers Rock the Pool…

  1. theranchwifechronicles

    Congratulations Haymakers on an awesome swim season! It takes a lot of dedication from youth and parents to accomplish big goals and it sounds like you have a great group to work with. 70+ PR’s from 52 youth is my favorite statistic.

    Congratulations to you, Anne, for leading your swimmers through example. What a great feeling to accomplish your personal goals and have so much support from your team and community. I hope you continue to hit the waters and compete as time allows you.

    • Thank you, Robyn! I love your kind note. We had an awesome season and I am so proud of what our community has built with the swim team. It is one of my greatest joys to be a part of — and the kids are an inspiration to me.

      You are such a great supporter for me. Your kind words are always so helpful to me as I strive to “put one foot in front of the other”. Thank you so much for always taking the time to share your thoughts. Please know how much it is appreciated.

      I hope that all is well to the north 🙂

  2. Good job, G. You still can crush them. I hope you fed your fellow competitors plenty of… wake.

    Unfortunately, Graves Disease didn’t ‘cure’ your love for non-mainstream vocabulary words: fervent; flagging; trepidation. I had to look them up. Do your girls know what you’re saying half the time?

    I pretty sure while you attended Cardinal Newman you made the following statement, “If they are going to make me learn these vocabulary words, I’m going to use them!”

    And since I missed it for some dumb reason… Happy 40th Birthday!

    • I am laughing, Bill, because it is a swim team joke that the kids always say that they have to go home and look up the definition of some word that I use each day at practice. I try to mix it up with them so they learn a variety! My three girls are used to my vocabulary and at times sound much like me 🙂 but some of the other kids on the team laugh about the big words that I use.

      It is always such a great feeling to be a strong competitor. I missed it so much when I was sick, and it is good to be getting back to a place where my fitness can live up to my standards.

      As for 40, it is looking a whole lot better than 30 did!

      Take Care,

  3. Tina nearhoff

    Where did your daughters get their swim wear from? Looking some for my daughter currently

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