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Beth decided to switch club teams from Toledo’s GTAC to the Seneca Aquatic Klub (SAK). Her friends from the high school team also swam for SAK. They practiced down the street from our home in Tiffin, compared to an hour drive to Toledo. The tough part would be telling Beth’s first swim coaches at GTAC. They supported her initial attempts to learn new strokes when it looked impossible to me. She planned to tell them about switching teams at her next practice.
When we left intensive care, the doctor placed no restrictions on swimming.
Still recovering, Beth insisted on driving to Toledo with me a week later for a swim practice. After a few laps, she felt nauseous, but only asked to get out of the pool to use the restroom. She did not elaborate, complain, or make an excuse. The coach teased and called her a wimp. He honestly didn’t know it was possibly the worst thing to say to a teenage quad, especially one like Beth who was sensitive to appearing weak.
In the locker room, I handed her tissues to wipe her eyes. She asked me not to mention the insult or her nausea. I urged her to leave with me for home, but she returned to the workout and actually did wimp out on breaking the news about changing teams.
At home, I encouraged Beth to make the phone call to GTAC. A talented procrastinator, she decided to put off telling them until after the Paralympic Trials meet in April. To give them the credit on the chance she made the Athens Paralympic team. Even if she earned a spot, not a sure thing, September in Greece would interfere with Harvard. Should I hope Beth would qualify for the '04 Paralympics?
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