Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Phenomenal Tip: What to Expect During An International Swim Meet

I just realized that I wasn't able to write a post about that time we accompanied R to his first international swim meet.

We were in Hong Kong during the last week of April. C decided that since the 2 girls already flew to Hong Kong with their Ahma just a week earlier, we wouldn't take them with us anymore. It would be a great opportunity to spend alone time with our only son.

This is the first trip that we are taking him by his lonesome so it's a double treat for him, as well. Imagine competing in his first international meet and then having mom and dad all for himself. 
I bet that made him feel like a winner already.

On our first day there, the whole team just swam some laps in the Tai Po Public Pool. Imagine this is how their public pool looks like!!! How lucky the swimmers in Hong Kong are that their sports facilities are well-maintained. I cannot remember how much we paid as pool fee, but I know it's very cheap. How I wish our public pools in Rizal Memorial or ULTRA could be as clean as this.
Won't get tired of this anytime soon. Supporting my son with what he loves to do is ❤️. His first international swim meet, sana more to come. He swam in an outdoor pool in a 21C weather on our first day here, para lang daw sya nag swim sa baso ng ice water. Lamig!

On the day of the meet, mas excited pa ata ako sa kanya. I wanted to document everything by taking photos. I look at this one now and I laugh so hard because his face says it all. Hahaha! His eyes seem to ask, "didn't we take enough photos yet?"

I'm so happy that he gets to experience his first international meet with his swimming brothers. He looks forward to training because he knows he can hang with these guys after. Playing with them in the pool after training or talking with them in the locker room.

You know the bible verse which goes as iron sharpens iron, so does a friend sharpens another {Proverbs 27:17}. This is true with this group of boys. Everyone of them is an achiever in their own right. They are student leaders, honor students, bemedaled athletes. I think everyone just inspires each other to do their best. Everyone gets along fine with each other, and the team vibe is always peaceful, parating chill, walang away-away.

Stalker-mom mode on! Hahaha!
He's in lane 2 wearing blue and red jammers, seen here adjusting his gogggles.

So happy! He won a medal!

When my girls saw this photo on my IG feed, the first thing they said was, "Mom, why'd you post that? You look tired!" Hindi pa nga nag-congrats so shoti nila, naka-libreng lait na sakin. Hahaha! Bwiset! But it doesn't matter how tired I look because watching him shine in the pool was worth it all.

Posting his winning swim here. Forgive this proud mom, I just want to keep it here so I can have something to look back on when my son is older.  This is the last heat for the 12 y/o boys for 100 meter freestyle. He won a bronze medal for this event, his first international medal.

Our swimming team celebrating at Din Tai Fung on the last day.
It was a good thing we were with co-parents who can be considered international meet veterans. 
Thankful that they are generous in sharing information that came in very handy.

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As a mom to an athlete, my first concern was to get some healthy food for R. Just in case he gets hungry anytime during the day, I want to have something in my bag to feed him in between heats, just in case he wants a light snack before lunch break.

When my husband offered to go to the grocery for me, I said yes, grateful for his offer. But I should've known better!


1. Competition call times are very early. Be prepared to buy breakfast for your swimmer the night before. Because the call time for the swimming competition was very early, the hotel's food outlet was not open for breakfast yet. It's a good thing our hotel had a mall nearby. While my two boys went up ahead to rest, I took the chance to go around the shops. Before calling it a night, I'd go to to the fastfood and buy rice meals for the next day's breakfast. Since it's near closing time, I got the pork asado with an additonal HK$5 discount pa.
 I'm always the first one up on every trip. I would call housekeeping to reheat the food and by the time they bring it back, R is awake already and ready for his first meal.

Fruits were courtesy of the hotel's daily credit, Since we were at the poolside almost the entire day, the room doesn't need to be cleaned. I just used up our HK$50 daily credit and requested them to provide us with bananas. Sulit na sulit!

2. Pack Important Items in Your Hand-Carry Bag. This way even in the worse case scenario of you losing your checked-in luggage, your child is still swim meet ready. My son had this race jammers and goggles and one set of team uniform in his backpack.

3. Bring a Foam Roller. If there's space in your luggage, having the foam roller nearby is a good way to keep their muscles loose and enhance blood circulation, especially after a long time of sitting down waiting at the airport and the plane travel.

4. Bring extras. I had my son bring along extras of: swim trunks, goggles (always alternate two pair during practice. NEVER wear untested, new goggles at a meet). I also had him bring joggers and jacket, just in case it gets cold by the pool deck.

5. Prepare a medicine kit for your swimmer. You can view this post to see what I bring in our Family First Aid Travel Kit.  There's also a FREE printable of my packing list in that post.