data/ Swimming Through the Generations….. Swimming, as a sport, is all consuming. Well, at least it always has been in my family. The obsession started with me.
As a child, I loved the water. I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to live in the water……my dream was to grow gills. I just never wanted to get out of the pool, stream, lake, ocean…..The water just brought me so much joy. The feel of the cool water gliding against my body….the pressure creating that perfect “hug” all over. Being weightless and floating freely with no restraints from that pesky gravity. And the quiet is amazing. Voices out of the water are muffled and the sounds of the water rushing past your ears are so soothing….. the sounds of bubbles, splashing, kicking…I still love the sounds. Being a busy business owner, I crave the silence of swimming. It is so wonderful to put my head under the water and just… If you are reading this, I’m sure you get it.
Then, I discovered swimming, the sport. Wow, that just brought everything to a new level. Loving the water is one thing, but adding in the comradery of teammates and coaches that love the water as much as I. Amazing! I was a very busy child, as most of us were in the 60s and 70s. I had lots of friends and a great support system, but I had never had the kind of support I received from my team mates and swim coaches. When I was growing up, girls didn’t play on organized teams very much…..girls danced or cheered, but it wasn’t common for girls to be on a sports team. So, swim team was the first time I got to experience team support. It was such great lesson to learn. Swimming is often considered an individual sport, but, as we all know, the team element is alive and well in swimming. Having people, other than my parents, support and cheer for me to do well at something was so surprising and wonderful. My memories from swim team are some of my most precious memories and I will be forever grateful for my time there! A special thanks to Coach John Torbett…..a great man. My favorite memory of him…..I had done especially well in a race. My entire team was cheering me on and was so happy that I had finished in first place. Coach Torbett, normally a very quiet, calm man, came to my lane…..pulled me out of the pool by both arms, wrapped me in a big hug and told me how great I had done while my teammates were patting me on the back and celebrating with me. I will never forget that feeling. So, of course, when I became a mother, I wanted to share that with my children. My boys, were not at all interested in swimming, but my daughter, Chelsea, fell in love with the water too. She started swimming much earlier than I did and never got tired of it. She, like her mother, was obsessed. Everything took a back seat to swim team. All the girls in her small, private school played on the basketball and soccer teams, but Chelsea swam. She got up at 4:30am several morning each week to get to morning practice and would arrive at school with wet hair, smelling of chlorine and shampoo. (I love that smell, by the way) Everyone in her school knew she was a swimmer. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy for her to be the only girl not on the school sports teams, but she loved swimming so much, it didn’t matter. She proudly took her own, unique path. I love that! Swimming completely shaped Chelsea’s life. Because she swam on the Dolphin swim team, she started collecting dolphin everything…which included reading about dolphins every day. Those were her favorite books. She had them stuffed between her bed and the wall and would read them when she was supposed to be sleeping. (She probably thought I didn’t know….hahaha….of course I knew!) From those books, she found out that people actually made their livings working with real, actual dolphins!! What? Well, that’s all she needed to read. At seven years old, her mind was made up…..she was going to be a dolphin trainer. I could go on and on about her obsession with becoming a dolphin trainer, but that’s enough for its own blog!! Let’s just say, my daughter is very driven and will find a way to make things happen and she did.
After swimming at my alma mater, on full scholarship, she graduated and started her career as a dolphin trainer. Now, that was an experience for all of us. It was amazing and so much fun! Again….I will leave those details for another post! But, as I said earlier, swimming completely changed her life.
And now…finally, she has children and they are swimming on the same team, The Dolphins. Oh my goodness, it just can’t be more fun for all of us. I absolutely love watching them, just as much as I loved watching Chelsea. They are just starting. Hopefully, they will love it as much their mom and I have all these years. And, hopefully, they will have the wonderful experiences we had.
It is going to be another great adventure…..can’t wait to see where it takes us! Happy Swimming!! Jeannie PS…Of course, because their Nani owns Splashwear Aquatics, they will always be outfitted with the latest and greatest swim stuff! Call me if you or your little swimmer needs all the latest and greatest too! 501-753-4998