One of the reasons I dove back into the blog business, besides the desire to bombard the populace with my literary genius and tomfoolery, was my friend Tony’s spirited attempt to post a blog entry every day for a year. He didn’t succeed, but he gave it one heck of a shot, and while I wasn’t foolishly optimistic enough to expect I could sustain such a pace (you see the kind of crap I’m posting–imagine if I had to scour my head and my hard drive for a year’s worth of daily posts! I can almost smell it from here.) I have my own goals: 260 posts by August 1, 2014–that’s five posts a week from when I began sporadically increasing my output.
And I care about this why? You wonder.
I had a busy weekend and didn’t come near the blog for 3 days, leaving me feeling strangely guilty. I’m not accustomed to that. I didn’t write all weekend, which is rare. It was a great weekend, though exhausting, so I shouldn’t be surprised that I didn’t write. The guilt surprises me a little. A lot, actually.
My kids are swimmers, and while swimming is pretty much a year-round thing, the meat of the season begins now. From the beginning of November into March we have exactly 2 open weekends, one of which is the weekend before Christmas. The kids compete for their highly successful high school team, for the YMCA league team they’ve been members of since they were eight, and for a USA Swimming club team that is an off-shoot of the YMCA–they’re pretty good, second tier athletes–they place more often than not–and watching them compete is pretty much my hobby.
A father could have worse preoccupations. Of course, this often means waking up at 5am, or earlier, on weekend mornings, dealing with a mini-van full of cranky sleep-deprived women, traveling a couple of hours to sit in a sweltering hot natatorium to watch 600 kids (580 of which I don’t know) swim, sitting on hard, crowded bleachers, while the athletes I know–including the ones I live with–underperfrom, adding 4, 6, 8 or more seconds to their seed times and finishing out of the running because right now they’re putting in 6500 yards a day in practice, six days a week, doing strength training, and still maintaining a semblance of a social life.
They’re physically gutted, but the core group of these kids are committed–to the sport, to each other, and to themselves. I know they don’t appreciate how impressive that is, and how inspiring, but it is, and that’s what I think about when it’s dark and cold and we’re headed across the state to yet another swimming pool to spend our weekend competes anyway, and it’s inspiring. I have many intellectual friends, most of them professional (habitual?) academics, who scoff about sports (until their kid decides to play one), and I’ve tried to explain this to them, but the effort is generally in vain unless they experience it for themselves.
I have learned so much from these kids. They may not be especially pleasant at 7 am, waiting for the call to hit the pool for warm-ups, but hey–if they can do that, I can keep hitting the blog pool and meet my own goals, right?