Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fish Out of Water

Having been a Coach's wife for almost 12 years, I have gained a wealth of knowledge about various sports. I thought I knew a lot when I got married. I remember my mother saying that you should learn the rules of the sports you watch. So I did. But, over the years, I've learned that there's so much more to it than I'd ever imagined. Even after so many years, I'm still learning about football, basketball, and baseball.

So you can imagine how I must be feeling now that my older son has decided to focus on a sport outside "the big 3". I have no idea what I'm doing, but we're about to dive head first into the world of competitive swimming.

A couple of years ago, I'd asked Devin if he would like to get involve in competitive swim. He's a natural in the water, and he's built just like a swimmer. But, at that time, the thought of racing didn't interest him. A few weeks ago, he came to me and asked if he could join a swim team. So, I looked for one nearby. (I use that term loosely, because we live in the geographic center of nowhere.) And I found a program within a reasonable distance. Tryouts will be the first week in September. I'm a little excited about it.

Coach and I agree it's a good opportunity for Devin to experience competition on this level and a great way for him to improve strength, endurance, and agility. He understands that it will be hard work and time-consuming. But he's excited. His response to my lecture about how he'd have to be committed and endure hard practices and how it wouldn't be just going to the pool for fun: "Well, even if I'm working hard, that would be kinda fun." That's exactly the attitude he should have about any sport.

Anyway, like I said, I know nothing about the world of competitive swimming. But I have enough sense not to show up at the tryout next month looking like I know nothing. I don't want to be unprepared and embarrass Devin. He's 11. If I embarrass him now, it'll be over. He still thinks his mom is cool enough. But if I make him go to practice in the wrong trucks or something, he will never forget it.

So, I do what I always do when I don't know what to do. I turned to the Internet. From my days as a cheerleader, I know a thing or two about tryouts. It's important to look the part, right? So I started looking for goggles, swim caps, and trunks, which aren't called trunks in competitive swim, they're called "jammers".

My son is a strapping young man. Standing at almost 4'7" and weighing in at a whopping 55 pounds, Devin has a 20 inch waist. His hip measurement, 23.5 inches. So, he's a little on the thin side. I was worried about finding jammers small enough for him. The smallest size I could find was a 22. According to the size charts, a 22 should fit a 22 waist measurement and a 28.5 hip measurement. Dev isn't quite there, but I thought this would work.

I should've done a little more research before ordering them. I was worried that they'd be huge and fall right off. I knew they needed to fit tightly. So, I was anxious for them to get here. When I took them out of the package, my mouth fell open. Tiny doesn't even begin to describe them. And when I asked Dev to try them on, he looked at me like I'd lost my mind! Jaxon pleaded with him not to even put them on saying that they looked like baby clothes. But, Devin is a good child who does what he's asked, and he squeezed himself into them. Bless his heart. He told me he didn't even know how he got them on. They are definitely going back. Good thing I got an early start.

I hope his tryout goes more smoothly than my preparations for it! But, and learn, right? I'm definitely in new territory for me, but I'll gladly wade through it for one of my children. I'll let you know how the tryouts go.

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