A Swimmer’s Body

I want to start by saying that most older teen female swimmers HAVE bodies. They have hips, thighs, butts, breasts, shoulders and some curves. They have confidence. Looking like a string bean is out. Looking and being strong and powerful is in.

This a big change for me as a former high school and college distance runner. I am short (good for a distance runner) but more solidly built than a toothpick. For most distance runners, it really is a case of “less is more.” For years my coaches bugged me about losing weight, so I would be faster.

Back to swimming. Swimmers who are training hard eat a LOT. Not junk. But high quality calories—carbs, fats, proteins. That tremendous caloric output during heavy training has to be matched by a healthy caloric intake.  Anna eats dinner #1 around 5:00 pm for her 6:00 pm practice. She gets home around 8:30 pm, showers, and then has dinner #2 which is more like a heavy snack. It usually involves some fruit, peanut butter, or leftovers from dinner #1.

So yes, women swimmers have women’s bodies. They are expected to train, to eat well, and to swim their fastest.  Swimmers have broad shoulders and strong bodies, and those are something to be admired because they represent dedication and hard work.

 

School-to-Sports Transition is Easy with Dragonwing

The school year and fall sports seasons have started. And that means girls — and parents — need to make quick transitions from school to practice or a game.

Need to change clothes in the car or bus? Concerned about modesty or just trying to find the time? Dragonwing’s got you covered!

Our girls sports bras, camis, and light compression shorts are perfect under school clothes and make changing for sports quick and easy.

Whether your sport is soccer, field hockey, cheering, or cross country, stock up for the fall season with our moisture-wicking, comfortable performance wear designed especially for girls. 

To help you stock up on sports bras, compression shorts, camis, and base layers just for tweens and teens, we’re offering 20% off each order until Sept. 1. Just enter SAVE20 in the discount code at checkout from dragonwinggirl.com.

Mom, I Love Cross-Country

“Mom, I LOVE cross-country.” Ok. Wow.

I’m going to take a little detour here because I know Dragonwing sells sports gear for tween and teen girls, but today I’m going to write about my 7th grade son. D is an avowed “nerd.” He swam in the past because I made him and he could see his friends, but it wasn’t something he embraced. Most of his summer activity was whatever was going on at summer camp, summer swim, and watching Netflix.

He joined the (no-cut) middle school cross country team this past week. I want to note that the North Carolina weather has been high 90s with high humidity all week. On the second or third day of practice, he hopped into the car after practice dripping sweat with a bright red face. I braced myself for the complaint. “Mom, I LOVE cross-country.”

Pause. Deep breath. Inside, I was jumping up and down. “What do you like about it?” “I don’t know, it’s fun. We ran through the woods today and picked apples. The trails are fun and it was shady.”

I’m delighted. Beyond happy. Because everything we know about why sports are good for girls also applies to boys, especially the slightly nerdy, not your-typical-jock boy. Over the course of the cross-country season, D is going to benefit from teamwork, hard work, camaraderie, seeing his own times (hopefully) improve, and understand that running, as with almost any sport, can be a lifetime pursuit. And the beauty of running is its simplicity. As humans, we were designed to move and to run. It’s in our DNA.

I’m glad D is literally following in my footsteps. But even more importantly, I’m hoping he has found his “sport.” His go-to activity when he’s having a bad day or needs to work off some excess stress. The “runner’s high” is real. A long time ago, I wrote that no matter how bad a day was, as long as I completed my run, it was a good enough day.

For D, I’m hoping this cross-country season is the season where he discovers the joy of sports.

 

Courage, as defined by my fortune cookie

When we’re full with Kung Pao chicken, sweet and sour chicken, rice, dumplings and lo mein, we each open a fortune cookie. We have a belief in our household that fortunes don’t necessarily belong to the opener of the cookie, just somebody at the table. So once we’ve all read the fortunes aloud, it’s an unspoken tradition that we decide who gets which fortune. Tonight, this was mine, and it was applicable in two ways:

Courage is the mastery of fear–not the absence of fear.

1. After dinner, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that a former teammate of mine had just committed to Florida State to play soccer. So, my dad asked me if I was still okay with my decision to not play soccer in college and to quit. Looking back on the decision, there were two sides to me.

The first and more dominant side was the one at complete peace with the situation. During a tournament in Colorado, I had just scored my dream goal and as I came off the field, I no longer envisioned myself playing in the upcoming season. It was also exciting to think of my weekends not being filled with 10 hour bus rides and Jason’s Deli box lunches.

The other half of me was freaking out.  I had been playing soccer for as long as I could remember. I didn’t know life without it. Like I said, Freaking Out.What if I miss soccer in a month? What if my dream school calls me right now offering me a roster spot? What will my teammates think? How am I going to tell my coach? Even though I knew this was what I wanted, it was still so hard. And I was so emotional. On the phone call with my coach, my tears got so bad that I had to secretly put myself on mute so I could blow my nose without him hearing. Through the blurry eyes and raspy voice, I made it through. There are still moments where I want nothing more than to train with my favorite coach and ex-teammates, but overall I’m very happy with my decision. I faced my fear of the repercussions of quitting, and so far I haven’t looked back.

2. My friend just texted me, “a fattie spider crawled in my bed and I can’t find it!!” This right there is courage. HE STARTED LOOKING FOR THE SPIDER IN HIS BED.
I can make tough, life-changing decisions, but if I were in his situation, I would have been out of that room so fast and would have been sleeping on the couch for a week. I don’t know where he landed with the spider situation, and he hasn’t responded for a few minutes. For all I know he’s convulsing on his floor with a spider bite in his arm. But at least he looked. And I think that’s what courage is about.

 

 

 

 

Back to School–A Parent’s Perspective

Following on Emma’s post about returning to school, I thought I’d write about “Back to School” from one parent’s perspective.

My absolute favorite thing about summer is no homework. Zilch, nada, zero. Summer evenings are less tense because we are out of the “get your homework done, eat dinner, go to swim practice, shower, go to bed” frenzy. On the other hand, the kids were binging on Netflix and made it to the seventh season of Supernatural. I am not proud of that.

I LOVE back to school shopping–all that promise with clean binders, new pens, folders, and the promise of a new school year. Everything is bright and new, and as Emma said, the kids seem genuinely glad to see their friends for the first few days.  A few months later, extraneous papers will trail out of my son’s binder and he will have lost several assignments, never to be found.

And as much as I love a lazy week, I’m also glad we’re back on some sort of routine though waking up is a bit tough. By 10 am I’m ready for lunch. However, never underestimate the power of a good power nap. This year Anna has “Emotional Health,” which I believe is a form of meditation often leading to a midday snooze.

And now that we’re back in a routine, my job search is kicking into high gear. My previous freelance gig terminated in July, so it’s now time for me to hit the ground running, resume in hand.

In summary, I have mixed feelings about back to school. I’m glad the kids have structure to their day, and they are being challenged by their teachers. I don’t like being the “homework police” so I’m trying to get out of that job and let my son bear the consequences. We’ll all get used to the early mornings and if not, Labor Day is just around the corner!

Back to School Bittersweetness

Remember the Staples TV commercial from a few years back? Dad skipping along the aisles, flanked by droopy kids, while “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” plays overhead?

Back-to-school can be bittersweet for everyone. As she starts her 12th year of school (13th counting kindergarten), Emma calls it “the best and worst time of the year.” Seeing friends, making new ones, and starting soccer season are big pluses. Homework assignments, college applications, and less sleep can take its toll.

In her latest blog post, she’s got some great tips for making the transition as smooth as possible. Check it out and leave a comment with what helps you keep a positive outlook at school.

Remember to SUBSCRIBE to Emma’s blog so you’ll be notified by email each time she posts.

Beating Back to School

Going back to school. The best and worst time of the year. The first week is all fun and games, as we meet new teachers and catch up with friends we haven’t seen all summer.  For the first week, stress levels aren’t too high yet as we are eased into new routines. It’s also nice to have something to do all day. And I’m sure my mom is happy to have me out of the house. But, it’s also the worst time of the year. There’s fear for the next 180 days and the stack of books that slowly gets higher. Teachers begin introducing large projects and essays and tests that are coming up in the next month and day by day the fun goes away.

As I’m going through my 12th first week of school, I seem to be numb to ‘the pain’ this time. The glory and excitement that comes along with being a senior has carried me through the first three days. The worst part so far has been that I’ve needed a nap every single day after school, so I think it could be worse.

I’ve found a few things that have helped me:

1. Knowing just because summer is over, doesn’t mean fun is over. There are still weekends that, as long as I save time for homework, can be spent with friends. The weather’s still nice, the pool is still open, and the beach is only two hours away!

2. Cheesy as it is, a positive attitudes really makes a difference. Homework is inevitable…groaning each time an assignment is given only makes it worse.

3. Napping! It’s not just for 1st graders.

4. BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING!! Homework is way more fun when I get to put it in my new folder and write on it with 6 different colored pens.

I’m sure in about a month I’ll look back on this post, with a to-do list to my eyeballs, wondering what I was thinking and how I could possibly have any positive attitude towards school, but for now, it’s not so bad. To everybody starting back in these next few weeks, good luck and have fun!

Say Hello to Emma and Sarah!

We’re thrilled to introduce two new Dragonwing girlgear bloggers: Emma and Sarah.

Emma, who’s now blogging here as EmmaH, is a high school senior who loves soccer, socializing with friends and family, watching Netflix, exercising, and lots more! She joined the Dragonwing team this summer and is helping us with marketing and retail partnerships.

I love to dabble in lots of other forms of exercise including hot yoga, group workout classes, swimming, biking, hiking and sometimes, although rarely, running.

Sarah, blogging here as SarahG, is a self-proclaimed “swim mom,” runner, writer, and former track and field athlete. As the mother of two teens, she has lots of great insights plus a big dose of humor.

[A]s an athlete myself I knew all the benefits of training and competition—camaraderie, friendships, challenging yourself, making a commitment and sticking with it, dealing with disappointment, taking care of your body and honoring its strength and power.

Subscribe to their blogs so you’ll get an email whenever they have a new post. You’ll be glad you did — we promise.

 

 

 

This Dragonwing girl is a Winner!

We asked our Instagram followers to post and tag us (@dragonwinggirl) in their throwback sports photos. We reposted every one and followers voted with their “likes.”

Our winner is Dorrit E., a terrific all-around athlete who specializes in soccer, rock-climbing, and pretty much every other activity you can imagine! Her photo received more than 200 votes!

Dorrit has won a Racer Seamless Sports Bra, designed just for girls. Made in the USA of high performance yarn for super softness, this tween sports bra is anti-microbial and moisture-wicking. Seamless and tag-free to eliminate chafing, the Racer has a wide bottom band that doesn’t ride up so girls can run, move, and climb with confidence.

Don’t miss our next contest! Follow us @dragonwinggirl now.