After only one year of adjusting to pool culture, I've got a new culture to learn. (Does that mean I've joined a new cult? Never noticed the root of the word. Huh.) Swim team is a whole new thing. Now that Rhett can swim a length of freestyle, he can (and did) joined the swim team for our pool. What, exactly, does swim team involve? Let me tell you.
First, practices. Obviously. Starting the day after Memorial Day, Rhett has had daily swim team practice for 30-45 minutes. Now that's it's summer, this isn't such a big deal. But man, it was a lot during the school year. Ollie is even on the pre-team and they practice at the same time, which is super convenient for Chuck. Goal of pre-team is to get the kids to swim the length of the pool so that next summer he'll be ready for "real" swim team.
Second, meets. Oh my. These meets. I had no idea. None. There are two meets: A and B. The stronger swimmers do the A meets Saturday mornings, and the others go to the B meets on Wednesday nights. Although Rhett is just getting this freestyle thing down, we don't have that many 8-and-under boys, so he's been swimming in the A meets. Let me tell you about these meets. They are LONG. And I'm kinda mad at Chuck (who grew up completely immersed in this culture--get it? Immersed?) for not cluing me into this. Warm-ups start at 8 a.m. and the meet starts at 9. The meet has 50 (fifty!) events and then you're done at noon. And because these things are mostly volunteer-run, either Chuck or I (or sometimes both) have to help. The only job we've done so far is timing. That means for all 50 events, we and two others stand at the end of each swim lane timing the swimmers. For three hours. In the sun (sometimes). In the humidity (most times). The events are basically every permutation possible of gender, age group, stroke, and distance. And how many events does Rhett swim? Two. How long does it take him to do this? His total swim time is one minute. In all honesty, the meets are kinda fun. Watching the different swimmers that we're starting to know is fun. Chuck and I think it's good for Rhett to be part of a team and he's enjoying watching (some) of it. But man, I would be so much happier if these things were only two hours long. Thankfully, both meets so far have been at pools with attached playground. Ollie has happily played the entire time!
Third, social events. There are pep rallies every Friday night before meets. These include a practice, a theme, dinner (so yes, I'm having to bring food), cheers, etc. There are team picnics after home Saturday swim meets. There are other team events as well. This is in addition to the other social events that the pool puts on: tween nights, movie nights, blah blah blah. As we're still feeling the effects of May, we're opting out of some. But I can't say that I'll be sorry to miss some of these next month because of our trip.
I have to admit that I'm enjoying watching Rhett. He usually likes to do only things that he's good at, or where he's expected to be just as good as everyone else (e.g., a tennis class for beginners). So this really is big for him! The first meet he was asked to join a four-person relay and he really did not do it. But he did. And I was so proud of him and I think he was proud of him. It's good for him. And really, it's the pool. How bad can it be?!
It looks like he's at the bottom, but actually he was 5th of 11. Not bad for his first meet!