We have been so surprised with his swimming because Jaeden was born 7 weeks early, with numerous health issues. He spent the first year of his life in and out of the hospital, dealing with many issues, mostly involving his respiratory system. Doctors ordered him to be on a nebulizer for the first 5 years of his life to help him with his breathing. At 5 ½, his pediatrician suggested that we put him in swimming lessons, to help expand his lung capacity. We weren’t sure if it was a good idea since Jaeden was terrified of having water on his face, even in the bathtub. He spent the summer of 2011 sitting on the side of his Nana and Papa’s pool, unsure and unconfident in his ability to swim. We finally decided to put him in swimming lessons a month before he turned six.
At his swim school, other parents and instructors knew him as the screamer. He screamed and cried for 20 minutes straight for the first few months of his swimming lessons. We even contemplating removing him, but decided to take him to a novice swim competition instead. We really wanted to see if seeing other kids competing might motivate him to work towards that as well. It was a long shot but somehow it sparked an interest. Before we knew it, Jaeden became a fish in the water. It had motivated him so much that at his kindergarten graduation (around the same time as the 2012 Olympic Trials) he told the audience that he wanted to be an Olympic swimmer when he grew up! Ever since that day he dedicated himself to that dream.
Jaeden trains 5-7 days a week rain or shine. His dedication and work ethic are admirable for any age, let alone a child. He has been lucky to work with some great coaches and even swim along side one of the best Triathletes in the nation and several professional swimmers. He has been blessed with a gift for swimming, but most importantly blessed to know about that gift so early in his life. Last December, at eight years old, he achieved his first Western Zone Cut. He is one of only a few eight year olds in the country to have achieved this. In order to compete in the Western Zone Championship, swimmers need to cuts, which he worked hard for at the San Diego Junior Olympics that just past in February, only four weeks after turning nine.
The Western Zone Championship is a major milestone in his swimming career. He has worked so hard to get the zone cuts he needs in order to compete in Hawaii this August. We are asking for support and donations to help get him there for a 5-day competition. It would be an incredible learning experience for him, as he will continue to work hard and prepare himself for more national and international meets in the years to come. Although he is the smallest and youngest swimmer, his heart and dedication is as big as any of his competition. Your generosity and support would mean the world to us and to him. Thank you. #teamjaeden
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