I wanted to work on the large dresser yesterday – Monday’s favorite find. However, I spent the day in an exhausted fog as the night before I almost collapsed from heat stroke. Why, you wonder? Because I decided, in my air conditioned family room, to sign up to be a timer for the first half of my kids swim meet.
Let me explain what a swim meet is like. It is pure torture.
For those who have not experienced this joy, there are three timers per lane. One lucky one is handed a clipboard and pencil (guess who the lucky one was) in addition to a stop watch. You must hit Go when a strobe light flashes with a loud beep to start the race and then lean over the edge of the pool and hit Stop when the kid touches the wall. I had to record all three times, circle the median one, hand over the paper to another official and start again. This process is fast, fast, fast. I am not the best at math to begin with so give me 1:40:32, 1:40:12 and 1:39:82 and make me circle the median time in two seconds flat, while standing in one thousand degree heat, with the strobe light going off for the next race and having to hit Go again…lets say there may be a time or two wrong from Lane 2.
I was standing in the scorching late afternoon sun, in one thousand degree heat with 99 percent humidity. I realized that if there was a hell, I was experiencing it.
Dripping sweat, I actually dropped the pencil in the pool onto the head of an 8 year old swimmer. After two hours of this I was sweating bullets, I could barely think, my feet were aching, and I was about to cry. Literally, cry.
My children are all summer swimmers. This means that they only do it for fun. On our team, many of the kids participate in year-round programs and some literally race in the Junior Olympics. This shows fantastic dedication and hard work and I admire these phenoms. However, why it is that in every sport there are now “travel” or “select” teams and hardly any good old rec teams? We are now guilty of this as my husband just signed my daughter up for travel softball. Remember when we used to play rec and some kids were great and some kids sucked but we all had fun? Am I the selfish mom because I am not super competitive and don’t want to spend hour upon hour on a field, or rink, or pool?
Anyway, I digress. I am proud of my “B team” swimmers. They get up every morning in the summer and go to practice. They cheer and participate and are never going to be A meet swimmers on this Division A Team. But, they have fun. They love donuts on Friday and playing shark in the diving well after practice. They also play basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and sing in a chorus. They are not going to get their 10,000 hours of one sport in before they turn 18. However, they are happy.
Regarding the swim meet. My kids beat their times and they were pleased. After standing for over two hours, of which my kids swam a total of two minutes, I was able to sit and drink a bottle of water and I even treated myself to a gelati. My time was served. They do say suffering is good for the soul!