Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Super Athlete*

When I was in high school I was the captain of the swim team. Technically I was a tri-captain because there were three of us. We were the only three seniors on the team and I always thought it was weird that during the team vote, all three of the eligible captains got the exact same number of votes. I never saw the actual ballots, but that's what our coach, Mr Reed, said. I have a feeling one of us got hardly any votes but he didn't want to have only two captains because then the loser would feel bad and it would be bad for the team, right? No, I'm sure we all got the exact same number of votes.

The choice for captain was totally based on popularity, which was good because if it was based on skill and accomplishment, I would have obviously been the odd man out. I don't think I ever won a race unless it was in a huge meet and the swimmers were organized into different heats based on their previous times. I won some heats, but I was usually racing against people that weighed 300 pounds or people missing some limbs. (It kind of upset me when I won my heat against the amputee and everyone cheered for her when she finished (last), but totally ignored me. So what if you finished a 500 yard race with only one and a half arms? I won! [the heat])

People used to try to comfort me by telling me that I was a late bloomer and it didn't make me feel any better. But now I know what they were talking about! I have been racing at the Y and I have yet to lose. Nobody even comes close. I've really come into my own! Finally!

Today, when I first got to the pool, there was only one woman ready to race, but she wasn't much of a competitor. She was ancient, and was swimming a breast-stroke/dog paddle so as not to get her hair wet. I have to say I admire how high she can hold her body out of the water to avoid having her hairdo mussed. I don't think the water ever got above her armpits. That must be hard all on its own, but that's not my style. I'm all about the speed. So I just practiced for a while until some real competitors came.

I looked up "1989 International Falls Broncos Girls Swim Team" on Google images. They didn't have anything, so I put this up instead.
Close enough.

Eventually I raced and beat a man in the lane next to me in a hard-won two hundred yard race. There was a woman in the lane on my other side, but she was out of contention early on I think partly because of the weird shorts she was wearing over her suit, and partly because she didn't seem to be able to swim a lap without apparently getting a LOT of water in her nose and had to stop at the wall after every length and blow it out (gross, and forfeit.) The man and I, however, had a good race. I applaud him for his skill and sportsmanship, (although he didn't congratulate me for winning.) Sure, he was about 65 years old, about 75 pounds overweight, didn't once kick his legs, and didn't know he was racing me, but so what? I knew we were racing and more importantly, I won.


*props to Kady and her blog called Super Athlete


  1. We thought you were an excellent swimmer. Don't forget we sat through all those meets so I know.

  2. I agree with your mom; I swam relays with you! I think I was in your league. Not to say you were "bad like me". I'm saying I was "good like you". I remember you blowing boogers into your hands and then flicking them ferociously onto me. That was my favorite thing. And then the trick were we filled a swim cap up with water and then put 5 or 6 people inside until it burst! OKay, what else?

  3. Dana, if you will remember, I was always third in the relays, which, as we all know is the spot for the slow but dedicated team member. And I did not flick boogers, it was full on snot wads, and everyone did it. Did you ever see Jeff Baron get into his swim cap and walk around like a crab? It was funny.


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