When you grow up in Florida, salt water tends to run through your veins and no matter where you are it seems as though there is always sand in your car. That’s how I grew up for 22 years of my life; me, my dad, and the water.
It all started at our local gym in the late 90’s. My dad would drop me off at the pool so I could take my swim lessons while he was working out. It seemed convenient for him at first, but when I was finally “swimming” he was so upset that he hadn’t been there to see me learn those skills. He decided then that he was going to be there for every lesson and was going to practice with me at home every day (another perk of living in Florida is EVERY home has a pool). He wanted me to learn so badly so he could take me surfing with him and know that I would be safe.
That’s when I feel like I really remember spending so much time with my dad. We would spend hours in our pool at home when he was off work. He would manipulate my arms and legs and try to show me the proper ways to breathe and things like that. He showed me how much he really cared about me in those moments together.
A few years later, I was swimming competitively for our local club team and was traveling all over the state of Florida for swim meets. My dad ALWAYS took off for my swim meets and we would road trip to the pools far and wide. When we got to the swim meets he would set up our chairs, mine with my teammates and his with the other parents (although he hardly ever sat down so I don’t know why he even brought one). Then he would assume the “Chuck” position, sunglasses on, reading glasses on the tip of his nose in front of his sunglasses, pen in left hand and heat sheet in the right, typically wearing clunky New Balances and high white socks. He would go crazy with that pen, writing down everyone’s times in my events as they swam so he could see how fast I would really need to go to win my event. He cared so much, and that’s how he showed me. Swimming is THE reason why my dad and I are so close.
Swimmers and swim parents are one of a kind and swamilys are just as rare. It takes hard work, but the results are absolutely amazing.
- A lifesaving skill
- Weekends together as a family
- Exercise as a family
- Hard Working Children
- Memories that last a lifetime
- Lifelong friends
These results made me who I am today and made my family closer than ever. So go out and show everyone who the new Swamily is on the block! Grow your relationships with your children and teach them what hard work, determination, and good times can give you in life.
– Ms Skye