Young swimmer finishes her 50 yard freestyle swim heat.

Goals, we all have them. Whether it is straight A’s or getting into a certain college, it is what drives us and makes us better. My daughter is a swimmer and she has a goal.

Little did we know when we signed her up for swim lessons 12 years ago that we were introducing our daughter to what would one day become her sport. She started swimming and never stopped. Fast forward to the present time and she swims competitively for a club swim team. For many kids, summer consists of late nights, watching TV and sleeping late. That is not the case for my daughter. Her alarm goes off at 5:30 am every morning for 6:30 am practice. Swim is not a sport of glory, it requires determination and grit, but it is her sport. It is what she does.

About 6 months ago, she set a goal. She has been a solid “regional swimmer” for a couple of years, but now she is hungry for a state time. She set her eyes on doing this in the 50 Free. This morning, she entered the pool with a 34.57 time. Her goal time is 30.19. While 4 seconds doesn’t sound like that much, it is a significant amount for such a short race. Today, I had the joy of watching her destroy her best time with a 2.41 second drop. This is a massive time drop for a 50. She now sits at 32.16 and is that much closer to her goal.

I was having a hard time getting a clear line of site because the timers were doing their important job of timing the event. But happily I managed to capture this series following the event. I love these images. I have many pictures of her breast stroke, freestyle, or her dive into the pool. But this series is different, it tells the story of a girl with a goal. It shows the end of her race where she is touching the wall after giving it her all. It shows her looking at the scoreboard for her time, then a moment of celebration followed by that smile and the realization that she is one step closer to that goal.

The Story Behind the Action

Young swimmer finishes her 50 yard freestyle swim heat.The touch on the wall. 

Kaeden Swimming 50 Meter Race 0002Checking the scoreboard for her time

Kaeden Swimming 50 Meter Race 0003Celebration!

Kaeden Swimming 50 Meter Race 0004“I am one step closer to my goal”

Is it a little strange that I get a tear in my eye looking at this series? That is why I love photography. It isn’t the action shot, it is the story behind the action shot. As I finish writing this at 8:00 pm, she will be heading to bed within the next hour. When you have goals, you dig deep and you do the hard work necessary. Because tomorrow morning, just like every other morning, her alarm will go off at 5:30 am for practice.

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