Sunday, January 22, 2006

I Love Swim Meets

My son Jeff is on his high school swim team. Never having been athletic myself and having attended a high school were athletics were poorly organized and worse attended, I was surprised how much I love going to sports meets and cheering. This Saturday, our town's South and North High Schools had their annual big meet. Although South (Jeff's team) got clobbered at the boy's varsity level, he made some great times. I was proud that as a freshman, he was already on the varsity team.

I love all the funny rituals about swim meets:

1) The way one of the refs fires a shot when the lead swimmer in the 500 yard freestyle starts on the last two laps.

2) The way the boys' hair ends up looking like a birds nests after so much chlorinated water

3) The way they dye their hair -- bleached, or blue, or orange -- near the end of the season and then shave it off before sectionals.

4) The way they throw the coach in the water after a big meet.

5) The way excited kids pound the boards while waiting for a relay swimmer to come in.

6) The way you know you're an experienced parent because you walk into the building from out side wearing a short-sleeve shirt under your parka on cold days.

7) The way all the parents clap and cheer extra hard to show support when a struggling junior varsity swimmer finally finishes the race.