Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Swim Factor

Ace has been swimming on his High School team since freshman year. Since then we spend a lot of time sitting poolside during practices and swim meets. Let me tell you, it gets pretty damn hot & humid sitting around for an hour or so at the pool and then WHAM! your out in the cold going to the car.

And oh my gods, the scent of chlorine! The school swim season is officially over, but practice never ends and the smell of chlorine permeates EVERYTHING. I think my nose hairs are permantly bleached just from the fumes.

When he started swimming, I thought the swim meets were going to be somewhat bland and made sure my trusty magic bag of holding (heh!) contained my Nook or my laptop and any number of assorted amusements. Who knew that swim meets are exciting? I'm sure all the other swim parents knew but they didn't tell me. I didn't ask, but that's not the point here, they should share this stuff. The meets are pretty exhiliarating. There's plenty of yelling as parent and kids alike cheer for and encourage ALL of the swimmers, not just their own kid. As the different events go on, parents socialize with old friends and establish new friendships. I've met some wonderful people these past couple of years and look forward to seeing them regularly now.

Sitting in the bleachers and watching the different events, amazed at the strength, endurance and intensity these kids exude, the atmosphere is jubilant as each kid touches the wall. There's no parents yelling at coaches, or bad mouthing an opposing team player or team. There is community and support and team encouragement. Those are excellent traits for teenagers to see.

On the deck, the kids are pushing each other to do their best, to beat their previous best time, and of couse their competitors. But even in that competition, the kids are all intermingling on the deck, the different teams, laughing, shaking hands and playing minor pranks.The kids shake hands with their competitors at the end of each event, while still in the pool, gamesmanship always displayed, winners and losers.

Next year my daughter will be swimming for the girl's team while her brother finishes his last season on the boy's team.

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