Friday, February 3, 2012

Goodbye, Swim School!!!

Sisters racing each other on the last day

It was the end of an era Wednesday night in our household.  18 months after starting my daughters have "graduated" from their swim school.  According to the "criteria" they have met the basics for starting swim team;  they have a basic grasp of all strokes, they can do a reasonable flip turn and dive off the block.  While certainly not ready to be recruited by Bob Bowman for NBAC they have come a long way from paddling around with noodles and I'm really proud.

They're ready for a break.  They're always cold.  Competition pools are not exactly conducive to little kids with BMI's of 1% and Missouri winters are usually not helpful (although this one so far has been mild.)   I told them when they do swim team this summer they'll be warmer.  That was met with great positivity.  I think they'll really like the competition.  I see them "eyeing" the other swimmers they're sharing lanes with.  I know they're thinking, "25y freestyle, meet you on the blocks, homegirl." They're ready to race.

 Most of the kids in swim school don't go onto swim team, I wonder why.  There's no recruiting during lessons.  The coaches never talk to us parents sitting in the stands for lessons before they start their practices.  Come over, introduce yourself.  Shmooze.  We talk about growing the sport, here's a grassroots opportunity.  We're a captive audience.  Come say, "hi," tell us about the swim club and encourage our kids to try out.  If the dance teacher hadn't encouraged me to try out for the disco dancing contest when I was 8 I never would have won and received the top prize, a life-size standing cardboard cut out of Barry Manilow.  Who knows where I'd be today without that opportunity?

I have very fond memories of the pool I learned to swim in.  In fact, when I went back to Chicago this summer I took the girls there.  It looked very similar to the way it was in the 70's.  I wondered if they were still playing "Rumours" over the loudspeakers.  Anyone remember Marathon Bars? ("they last a long, long, long time....")  I used to get one from the snack bar every day.  I got a little emotional.  Even though I never became a competitive swimmer I did teach swimming when I was a teenager and, of course, I love the sport.  I told the girls they'll always remember their "first pool."

So on their last night of lessons we took pictures and then went out for ice cream.  I'm sure they'll be many more pools in their future and I hope they find great joy in the water for the rest of their lives.  Isn't that what every good swim parent wants for their kids?......  Just love it.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to the girls!!

    As you said, I'll always remember my "first pool". It's unfortunately been closed and left in a very, very sad state for over 15 years now. But I have the best memories there. And birthed my love for the sport!